On Monday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Uttar Pradesh (UP) will meet national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh, who will hold feedback sessions for the second time in 20 days to thrash out issues between the party and the government and prepare a blueprint for Mission 2022–the UP assembly elections.
BL Santhosh’s visit will be followed by a series of visits by the party’s leadership. BJP chief JP Nadda and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to visit UP regularly in the run-up to the assembly polls, due in about nine months’ time.
The BJP could also hold a state working committee meeting by June-end or early July, some party leaders indicated. Before the 2022 UP polls, BJP faces elections to the zila panchayat chairpersons’ post on July 3.
During his three-day unprecedented one-on-one feedback session with ministers of the Yogi Adityanath government, Santhosh had stressed on the need for unity and coordination between the party and the government in the election year, party leaders said.
The spotlight, this time, will be as much on Santhosh as on the new UP BJP vice-president AK Sharma, an IAS officer and a former aide of Prime Minister Modi, who earlier joined the BJP, was made an MLC from UP and has since earned applause for Covid management in and around Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.
Sharma’s induction in the Yogi Adityanath government as the new UP BJP vice-president came two days before Santhosh’s arrival.
There are 17 vice-presidents in the UP BJP, but party leaders admit that spotlight is on Sharma.
“It is clear that Sharma is not going to be a regular state party vice-president. He was recently in Delhi meeting Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad who has since firmed up his alliance with the BJP. He also met a Brahmin body in Delhi,” a party leader said.
Sharma, who has adopted two health centres – a community health centre in Ranipur and a primary health centre in Suggichauri, both in his home district of Mau – in keeping with the party direction to all ministers, lawmakers and party functionaries to adopt health centres in the state, is expected to attend party meetings with Santhosh and national vice-president Radha Mohan Singh, who is also the UP in-charge.
Ahead of Santhosh’s arrival, BJP also announced office bearers to head the various party wings and declared the party’s media, IT and social media panels. Former Congress heavyweight Jitin Prasada, who arrived in Lucknow to meet party functionaries and chief minister Yogi Adityanath, could also be among the leaders expected to meet BL Santhosh and Radha Mohan Singh.