Who Is A K Sharma—New Vice President In UP BJP?

·3-min read

With A K Sharma appointed as vice-president of the UP BJP, the probability of him being made the deputy chief minister now is almost zero.

Former bureaucrat Arvind Kumar Sharma was today appointed the vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Uttar Pradesh unit.

In January this year, Sharma was relieved from his post as the Union secretary of MSME Department a week after applying for voluntary retirement. During the same week, after his exit, he joined the BJP.

His plea for retirement, the exit from the job, joining the BJP and the induction -- all happened pretty quickly. “I feel honoured. There are many political outfits in the country. I have no political connections, but such a step can only be taken by a leader like PM Modi and a party like the BJP,” he is quoted to have said in January.

Sharma was then nominated as a BJP candidate in the Uttar Pradesh legislative council polls. His induction ceremony was presided over by the UP BJP state chief Swatantra Dev Singh in Lucknow.

At his inducting ceremony in January, Sharma is reported to have said that he was "asked to adopt the membership of Bharatiya Janata Party.”

This indicated that the decision came after being asked by someone who had known him for 18 years of his service as a bureaucrat in Gujarat--Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In 2014, when Narendra Modi took charge of the South Block as Prime Minister, Sharma was brought in to Delhi; his appointment to the PMO followed the same month.

Sharma, it was concluded by sections of media in January, could be heading for PM Modi’s “Mission UP” and a big role in the state. Understandably, his role in Lucknow, it was expected, would also help Sharma and Modi keep a watch on the policies and implementation of policies in UP.

A K Sharma: A profile

Sharma was born in a Bhumihar family in Mau, eastern UP. He passed the senior secondary level from DAV Inter College Mau. He graduated from Allahabad University and joined the civil services after his post-graduation as an IAS officer with the Gujarat cadre in 1988.

He took charge as DM Mehsana in 1995, served as the joint MD of Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals (GSFC).

It was in 2001 when Narendra Modi came to the chief minister’s office that Sharma joined the CMO. He was also serving as commissioner rehabilitation for the Sardar Sarovar project on Narmada. The work related to the rehabilitation of those dislocated by the Sardar Sarovar project was marked by challenges, including a strong campaign from the opposition.

In 2001, Sharma was part of the team that Modi led to rebuild Gujarat in the wake of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.

Sharma's work led him to become a trusted man in Modi's core team and he showed interest in economic matters, from which sprang his work towards Modi’s first edition of ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, a trendsetter in summits.

Sharma was looking after the infrastructure sector in his role in Delhi and Modi government’s Rs 100 lakh crore infrastructure investment plan in 2020 is reported to have had his say.

Sharma had met UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in late May. After this meeting, sections of media began speculating that Sharma would head to become deputy chief minister in the state and inducted in the Adityanath cabinet in an expected cabinet reshuffle. There are two deputy CMs serving in Adityanath-led government in UP -- Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma.

With A K Sharma being appointed as vice-president of the UP unit of the BJP, it is speculated that the probability of him being made the deputy chief minister now is zero.

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