LUCKNOW: A lunch hosted in Lucknow on Tuesday to celebrate the marriage of Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s son seems to have sent a larger political message of unity among top leaders of the ruling BJP eight months ahead of assembly polls in the state.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath joined senior RSS and BJP leaders for the lunch at his deputy’s residence. Those present included RSS national general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale, senior Sangh leader Krishna Gopal and BJP leaders, including national general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh, party in-charge for UP affairs Radha Mohan Singh, state general secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal and Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma.
Though just a hall known as Janata Darbar separates the CM’s official residence from Deputy CM Maurya’s, Yogi had not reportedly visited the latter since October 2018. The lunch gathering aimed at presenting a show of unity and conveying a larger message of all being well within the party came close on the heels of Maurya’s recent statements that “the central leadership (parliamentary board) would decide the CM face in UP in 2022 polls”. Maurya’s comments were echoed by another OBC leader and cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya, fuelling speculations about tensions between Yogi and his deputy.
Maurya was one of the frontrunners for the CM’s post in 2017. But despite the OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits playing a key role in the BJP’s victory, Yogi Adityanath was chosen. Meanwhile, two senior central BJP, BL Santosh and Radha Mohan Singh, continued to meet the party rank and file. They are believed to have told the state leaders to not repeat the mistakes of Bengal.