Just three days after securing huge victories in four out of the five states that saw elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a meeting to discuss the new cabinet for Uttar Pradesh. The BJP won 255 out of 403 seats, with allies receiving 18 in the UP assembly. Though this number is down from the 325 that it won back in 2017, it is still large enough for the party to have an absolute majority in the state, despite fierce competition from the Samajwadi Party (SP). Hence, the BJP looks to build on this lead and not lose any more ground than it already has to the SP.
The agenda of the meeting, according to NDTV, was the cabinet discussion for the new term of the government. The swearing-in ceremony was also discussed and will be organised after Holi. It isn’t the first time the BJP has mentioned Holi. When the election results were announced, Prime Minister Modi congratulated party workers by saying that they brought “Holi” early this time.
What took place in the meeting?
The meeting had two major agendas: One was a discussion about the new cabinet for the state of UP. The second one was a discussion about the swearing-in ceremony of the ministers and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. In the meeting, Modi mentioned how the party overcame the challenge posed by Akhilesh Kumar and the SP. He also tweeted about details of the meeting between him and Yogi Adityanath, lasting a total of two hours. His tweet read, “Met Yogi Adityanath Ji today. I congratulated him on the historic win in the UP elections. In the last five years, he has worked tirelessly to fulfil the aspirations of the people. I am sure that in the years to come, he will take the state to greater heights of development”.
Another thing mentioned in the meeting was the surprising defeat of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in the state election. This was one of the few blots in an otherwise successful campaign. He lost the Sirathu seat by about 7,000 votes, making Pallavi Patel of the Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) win it. The Apna Dal is an SP ally. In addition to Maurya, ten more ministers lost elections from the BJP. It is interesting to note that Adityanath’s second deputy Dinesh Kumar did not contest in these elections.
The party has still not clarified its position on whether or not Maurya will remain the Deputy Chief Minister. However, he can likely take the legislative council route. Even Adityanath was a legislative council member until he contested his first elections from the Gorakhpur Urban constituency.
Adityanath also met party president JP Nadda following the meeting. He met with BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.