LUCKNOW: UP Transport Minister Swatantra Dev Singh has been appointed new chief of Uttar Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday. Known to be a leader with excellent organisational skills, Swatantra Dev Singh will replace Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey who has joined Modi 2.0 cabinet after 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The seal on Singh’s name was put in a late-night decision taken at the highest level by the BJP high command in the presence of UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Monday in New Delhi.
Swatantra Dev Singh, a Kurmi among OBCs, is a known face of BJP organisation in the state. While he belongs to Mirzapur, the Kurmi belt eastern UP, Bundelkhand (Jaluan) and Kanpur have been his ‘Karmabhoomi’.
Currently, an MLC Swatantra Dev Singh has been holding the portfolio of state minister of transport with independent charge, protocol and minister of state for power in Yogi cabinet.
Having carved out a niche for himself due to his organisational skills, the appointment of Singh as party’s state unit chief is being seen as BJP’s bid to consolidate its support base among the OBCs, who have been supporting the saffron party overwhelmingly during the last three elections – 2014, 2019 Lok Sabha and 2017 UP Assembly polls.
Moreover, BJP, through Singh’s appointment will try to send across a message not only to eastern UP but also keep the constituencies of Bundelkhand in good humour, especially, when Yogi government has completed half of its tenure in office and will spend rest in preparing for 2022 state assembly polls.
Born on February 13, 1964, in a family with humble background with nearly no political leaning in Mirzapur district of UP, Singh was the first person in his family to join RSS and subsequently BJP.
He chose Jalaun district of Bundelkhand to work as a face of RSS/BJP organisation and made a palpable change in the political standing of BJP in the most backward region of the state and it was well reflected in all the recently held elections.
In fact, Swatantra Dev Singh started his journey as a reporter in one of the Hindi language daily newspaper prior to 1986 when he joined RSS as a Pracharak. In 1988-99, Singh went on to become a member of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and was given the charge of Kanpur unit of BJP Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in 1991.
In 1994, Singh was appointed in-charge of Bundelkhand BJYM and remained on the post until named BJYM General Secretary in 1996. He rose to the rank of BJYM state president in 2001.
He shot to fame when he was made main strategist and in-charge of Modi’s political rallies in UP and Bihar during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Swatantra Dev Singh was one among the front runners for the post of UP CM after the BJP got a mammoth mandate in 2017 UP Assembly polls.