There is an air of heightened expectation in the Bharatiya Janata Party office. After the Lok Sabha polls, vacancies have been declared for the post of party state chief and ministers in the Yogi Adityanath council of ministers and with it party workers and leaders have started guessing who could fit the bill.
BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey has been inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council of ministers after his re-election from Chandauli, while three senior ministers — Rita Bahuguna Joshi, SPS Baghel and Satyadeo Pachauri — have been elected to the Lok Sabha. Thus, three new ministers are to be inducted into the Yogi Adityanath council of ministers and expansion of cabinet is also on the cards.
A senior leader of the BJP told The Pioneer that a decision on new appointments is likely to be taken within a week. “We are expecting the appointment of a new party state chief and constitution of his team and then the induction of ministers. Caste will be a primary criteria for appointment of party state president as the new incumbent is likely to lead the party in the 2022 Assembly polls,” the BJP leader said.
Two names are doing the rounds for the post of BJP state chief. One is Transport Minister Swatantra Deo Singh and the other of former Union minister and MP from Noida, Mahesh Sharma.
Singh is from a backward by caste and is from Bundelkhand and has organisational experience as he was party state general secretary while Sharma is a Brahmin.
Party insiders say that as the outgoing BJP state chief is a Brahmin, there is less possibility that he will be replaced by a Brahmin.
“In 2017, when the BJP got a thumping majority, the party was led Keshav Prasad Maurya, a backward and Mahendra Nath Pandey replaced him. So, there is every chance that a Dalit or backward will be the next party state president,” source said.
There is also a feeling in the party that if upper castes are denied top posts, they will be accommodated in the government.
Joshi and Pachauri are Brahmins so there is possibility that in the next ministerial reshuffle, upper caste candidates will have a upper hand.