Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter’s official residence, 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi, on Friday, 11 June, amid speculation of discontent against the former in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"Had the privilege of paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and receiving guidance. I express my heartfelt gratitude to the prime minister for providing the time for the meeting and his guidance during his busy schedule," the UP CM said in a post on Twitter in Hindi.
Soon after the meeting, Adityanath left for the residence of BJP President JP Nadda.
On Thursday, the UP CM met Union Home Minister Amit Shah. "Paid a courtesy call on Union Home Minister Amit Shah ji in New Delhi and received his guidance. Thank the home minister for giving his valuable time for the visit," he tweeted after the meeting.
Adityanath’s meeting with Shah came a day after Congress leader and former Union Minister Jitin Prasada joined the BJP on Wednesday. Following this, Prasada also had a “courtesy meeting” with Adityanath on Thursday evening.
With the UP Assembly elections due in the first half of next year, criticism has been mounted over Adityanath's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of coordination between his government and BJP MLAs and MPs.
A Slew of High-Level Meetings
UP CM Adityanath’s arrival in Delhi came after a series of high-level meetings were held by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi and Lucknow over the past several days.
One of the meetings, a high-level huddle in May-end, included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, RSS Sarkaryavaha Dattatreya Hosabale, and BJP President JP Nadda. BJP's UP General Secretary (organisation) Sunil Bansal was also summoned from Lucknow.
The main focus of the huddle was believed to be the COVID-19 situation in Uttar Pradesh and its possible political impact.
Some of the criticism even came from within the BJP, with Union Minister Santosh Gangwar and MPs Kaushal Kishore and Lokendra Singh raising concerns about the government.
Adityanath has also personally come under fire for his handling of the pandemic. Besides broader concerns over the handling of the pandemic, a number of specific issues also emerged.
Attempts to Dismiss Reports of Unrest
However, BJP leaders have sought to dismiss reports of unrest. Last week, BJP vice president Radha Mohan Singh applauded the work done by the UP government in managing the COVID situation, saying it has been “unparalleled.”
BJP's General Secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh and Radha Mohan Singh were in Lucknow last week during which they interacted with 15 ministers in Yogi's government, including the two deputy CMs Keshav Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.
The feedback they received during their various meetings was that there are no doubt gaps between the government and MLAs, with the latter not finding a voice with the CM or bureaucrats.
However, the ministers also told Santhosh and Singh that the handling of the pandemic had improved significantly compared to April.
Following the visit, Santhosh on 2 June put out two tweets praising Adityanath's handling of the pandemic
(With inputs from ANI.)
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