The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not been able to announce its new president for three weeks since former president Swatantra Dev Singh resigned on completion of his tenure.
State party workers told Swarajya that this is due to many names coming up in the race and each having its pros and cons, making it difficult for the party high command to finalise a name.
However, reportedly, the discussion on the names is in the final stages and an announcement can be made soon. This speculation was fuelled when Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak met BJP national president JP Nadda on Thursday (18 August).
Pathak tweeted that he met Nadda to seek his "invaluable guidance and blessings." Earlier, the other deputy CM, Keshav Prasad Maurya met Nadda on Wednesday and tweeted that "important political issues of Uttar Pradesh were discussed."
It should be noted that Maurya was recently appointed leader of the party in the Legislative Council, replacing Swatantra Dev Singh, confirming his place as number two in the government after CM Yogi Adityanath.
His name is also said to be under consideration for the post of the state president of the BJP. However, it is unlikely that so many responsibilities will be given to a single person. This logic also eliminates the name of Brajesh Pathak.
It is speculated that caste will be a dominating factor in choosing the state president. Qualities like organisational understanding, hold over party workers and good rapport with the party leadership will also be considered.
The BJP is reportedly unable to decide whether the state president should be a Brahmin, a Dalit or an OBC. Party workers, to whom this correspondent talked to on the phone, gave different names.
A media co-in charge of the BJP based out of Lucknow, told Swarajya that it is likely that the new president will be former deputy CM Dinesh Sharma. Sharma hails from a Brahmin background and can be made state president since he was not retained as a deputy CM.
Whereas, a worker in BJP's national media team on the condition of anonymity told Swarajya that CM Adityanath wants a face from the Scheduled Caste community.
The UP BJP recently underwent other organisational changes also when Sunil Bansal was replaced by Dharampal Singh as the party's general secretary (organisation) in the state. It is believed that these changes are to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
UP is the state that sends the most number of parliamentarians with 80 seats in Lok Sabha. The BJP has set an ambitious target of 75+ seats from the state for the 2024 elections. For this, it needs a strong president in the state. That may explain the delay in deciding on a name.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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