Senior BJP leaders BL Santhosh, Radha Mohan Singh in UP again to review party’s functioning from Monday

The BJP’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh and Uttar Pradesh in-charge Radha Mohan Singh will be in Lucknow on a two-day visit from Monday to review its programmes, their second this month as the party sets in motion preparations for the crucial assembly polls next year.

During their earlier visit from May 31 to June 2, Singh had shot down speculation of a leadership change in the state and had defended the Yogi Adityanath government’s handling of the COVID situation.

An aide of Radha Mohan Singh told PTI that Santhosh and Singh will be on a two-day visit to Lucknow beginning Monday.

“During his visit to Lucknow, BL Santhosh will review the various works of the organisation including ‘seva hee sangathan’, vaccination and other ongoing programmes,” a senior UP BJP leader said and added that the working committee (Karya Samiti) of the party is likely to meet by June 30.

Another party leader said that a few days before Deepavali (in November), the party will come into “full election mode” for the 2022 UP Assembly elections.

Besides a few BJP lawmakers expressing resentment openly on the handling of the second COVID wave, the major opposition parties — the SP, the BSP and the Congress — are planning to make it a major issue in the state Assembly polls, which are only months away.

The visit by Santhosh to Lucknow comes after the Uttar Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party appointed its state MLC A K Sharma, a former IAS officer, the party’s state vice president.

Sharma, considered a trusted aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was handed over the new assignment amid speculation that he would be inducted into the Yogi Adityanath government in a senior ministerial position ahead of the next year’s assembly elections.

Sharma’s appointment as the vice president of the BJP’s state unit negates the chances of his induction in the state Cabinet because of the BJP’s larger principle of one-man-one-post, a party leader said.

Archana Mishra from Lucknow and Amit Valmiki from Bulandshahr were appointed as secretaries of the state unit.

The BJP on Saturday also announced the appointment of Pranshudatt Dwivedi from Farrukhabad as the chief of BJP Yuva Morcha, Geeta Shakya of Auraiya as party’s Mahila Morcha chief, Kameshwar Singh of Gorakhpur as Kisan Morcha chief.

During his previous visit to Lucknow, both the deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and the UP’s Law minister Brijesh Pathak had met Santhosh.

On June 1, Santhosh had praised the UP government’s handling of COVID-19. In a tweet, he had said, “In five weeks, @myogiadityanath’s Uttar Pradesh reduced the new daily case count by 93% … Remember it’s a state with 20+ Cr population . When municipality CMs could not manage a city of 1.5Cr population, Yogiji managed quite effectively.”

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