New Delhi: Internal strife has strengthened between PM Modi and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath as the state gears up for the 2022 assembly elections. Suspecting defeat, Modi wants to implant one of his own into the ministry, a move ardently resisted by Yogi. The RSS has stepped in for conflict resolution.
Several MPs and MLAs in the state are of the opinion that they cannot move ahead with Yogi after his disregard to counter the second wave of COVID-19. Though it is not possible to replace Yogi, who has heavy backing from the RSS, there is a strong demand for reconstituting the ministry. Modi is in an attempt to appoint his trusted AK Sharma as Deputy Chief Minister in the state.
Modi, who usually takes to Twitter to wish Chief Ministers on their birthdays, skipped Yogi's recently, hinting at the rift.
On the other hand, Yogi is arguing that the spear is being turned to him and UP to hide from the Centre's pitfalls in tackling COVID-19.
If elections are held in UP in the present scenario, the BJP would be defeated despite UP being one of its strongholds. It is not only about COVID mismanagement but also Yogi's governance. The Samajwadi Party made gains in the recent Panchayat polls. If things proceed as now, even the victory of the Modi-Shah duo in the '24 Lok Sabha elections would be cast in doubt.
The developments underscore the possibility of taking issues including Ayodhya during elections to influence the voting and ignite communalism. A two-day meeting of BJP general secretaries in Delhi assessed the situation in various states, including Uttar Pradesh. The changes will be evident in the coming days.
BJP national vice-president Radha Mohan Singh, who is in charge of the state, met Governor Anandiben Patel on Sunday, sparking speculation about a cabinet reconstitution. However, considering the BJP's style of functioning, such a meeting is not necessary to embark on the process. Radha Mohan Singh has also explained that the meeting has nothing to do with reconstitution.