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Cabinet shuffle buzz on, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath to meet PM Modi today


NEW DELHI:  Amid hectic parleys within the BJP to control damage in Uttar Pradesh after the second wave of the pandemic left a devastating trail, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday called on Union home minister Amit Shah. Adityanath is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, with indications suggesting the CM may not be able to avoid a state Cabinet reshuffle. 

Earlier, BJP chief J P Nadda briefed Modi on the inputs collated by party general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh and state in-charge Radha Mohan Singh, who had camped in Lucknow for two days. Modi is reportedly closely monitoring the BJP’s preparations for the state polls next year, with regular exchange of inputs between him and Nadda as well as RSS leaders.

While the CM had recently termed the buzz of a Cabinet reshuffle as media speculation, sources said he will eventually have to fall in line as the top leadership is keen on a few changes ahead of the February 2022 state polls. A K Sharma, MLC and former official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), is widely speculated to get a key portfolio in the state Cabinet. 

While the CM hasn’t been amenable to the idea so far, a top ranking BJP functionary told this newspaper that Sharma would be given an important assignment in the state. Sharma, incidentally, was in the national capital when Adityanath called on Shah. 

Sources said BJP leaders and top RSS functionaries concur that while Adityanath should lead the party in the polls, a few changes in his ministerial team are needed to dispel the perception that he’s running a highly centralised administration, against which even the MPs and MLAs reportedly nurse grievances. However, the CM is known to enjoy the patronage of the RSS leadership. For the record, Adityanath described his meeting with Shah as a courtesy call, saying he sought guidance.

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