BJP central leaders hold meetings in UP on handling of COVID crisis, preparedness for polls
Lucknow, June 1, 2021
Two BJP central leaders are on a two-day visit here to assess the growing resentment in party ranks over the state government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
BJP's organisational secretary B. L. Santosh and Uttar Pradesh in-charge Radha Mohan Singh have held a series of one-to-one meetings with Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and others.
All the ministers who met the two leaders from Delhi were evasive about the topic of discussion and said that the party leadership held talks over the preparations for the Assembly elections due next year, and also took stock of the party cadres working to help the poor during the pandemic.
Maurya, however, made a statement that allowed one to read between the lines.
"Pradesh adhyaksh ke netritva mein hum phir jitenge (we will win again under the leadership of the state president)," he said.
Santosh and Radha Mohan Singh had on Monday held meetings with some ministers, including Brijesh Pathak, Jai Pratap Singh, who is the Health Minister, and Swami Prasad Maurya.
This was followed by with a late-night meeting of senior leaders at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence.
A BJP press release said the leaders reviewed the works done by the party for Covid-19 relief across the state in the last few months and earlier.
Sources, meanwhile, said that the two leaders were concerned about the image of the state government being dented with its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, including oxygen shortage and floating dead bodies.
Moreover, an increasing number of BJP legislators have been openly airing their grievances about the functioning of the government.
The Yogi Adityanath-led government's handling of the Covid-19 surge in recent weeks has drawn sharp criticism on social media, while the opposition parties are sparing no opportunity to highlight the alleged mishandling of the situation.
The party is now concerned about the state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh, while the party's defeat in the recent panchayat elections is another major cause for concern. The BJP lost the panchayat elections in Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura, which are known to be its strongholds.
A senior party functionary, meanwhile, admitted that the two Central leaders were here to assess the extent of damage and discuss the steps to redeem the situation.
"They will submit their assessment report to party President J. P. Nadda. That is why they spoke to the ministers individually," he said.