Things change very quickly in politics. Yogi Adityanath was untouchable and Uttar Pradesh had no challenger for BJP till 2020 January. RSS-BJP combine was confident of a repeat victory and everyone sat pretty. Then came the second wave of the pandemic which met the callous decisions of the Uttar Pradesh government. The result was extremely bad imagery and a huge dent in Yogi Adityanath’s track record of a Chief Minister who understands what administration is. Knowing well that pandemic created a chorus not only against him from outside but within the Parivar, the top leadership of BJP sprung into action. It is for this reason both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have made time to meet Yogi Adityanath and take feedback in person from other leaders.
The recent spate of meetings in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi is an attempt to consolidate the organisation before the assembly elections. The top leadership of the BJP believes that the Yogi Cabinet needs a rejig and it must send a message to the electorate that the party means business. Sources within the party want to rejig to send accommodate caste equations in the state as well. It is, for this reason, BJP has opened a conversation with Anupriya Patel who was in cold storage from 2019 onwards. Anupriya’s party command a considerable Patel vote in 3 eastern districts of Uttar Pradesh including Varanasi. Now Party wants her on board but Anupriya has her demand. Till 2019, she was a union minister but because of a tough bargain, she was not inducted into Cabinet.
BJP is also trying to touch base with the breakaway faction of the Suhel Dev party in Uttar Pradesh. BJP wants to consolidate the Rajbhar vote in central and eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is, for this reason, Sanjay Nishad and Pravin Nishad were given an appointment by Home Minister Amit Shah. There meeting lasted for more than an hour. Sources say that most of these leaders have their wish list and the party wants to address them before the election process kickstarts.
Congress leader Jitin Prasad too was admitted to the party for the same reason. The signal was that in the Yogi administration, Brahmin leadership too will be accommodated. The meetings are being held in Delhi and apart from BJP President JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also in the loop.
Sources in the BJP say that Yogi Adityanath has been given the feedback collected by the BJP-RSS leadership in Uttar Pradesh. He has been told that he must take party leaders into confidence and there has to be rapport between the organisation and the government in the state. Yogi Adityanath has been requested to ensure that a dialogue process is kickstarted between him and other leaders within BJP. The Cabinet reshuffle in Uttar Pradesh can take place anytime and the attempt would be to absorb organisational resentment as much as possible before the elections.
More than SP and BSP, Uttar Pradesh means a lot for the BJP. This state can bring back the electoral lustre lost after the West Bengal fiasco. It can reboot the party cadre once again. But a loss in Uttar Pradesh can galvanise an entire Opposition and also allow a leader to emerge from a north Indian state which BJP cannot ill afford at this juncture. But BJP is a quick learner and strong remedial measures can be seen around the corner.