Yogi beats EC, gives BJP leaders, allies important government positions before poll is announced

CM Yogi Adityanath appointed senior party leaders and allies as the chairmen and members of the state-run Corporations just hours before the ECI announced the dates for the general elections

Photo Courtesy: PTI
Photo Courtesy: PTI

Biswajeet Banerjee

With resentment growing in the party over workers being denied important positions in the government, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appointed senior party leaders and allies as the Chairmen and members of the state-run Corporations just hours before the Election Commission of India announced the dates for the general elections.

Seventy-two such leaders were appointed as either members or the Chairmen of the commission. Even allies like Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and Apna Dal, who had threatened to walk out of the alliance, have been accommodated in the list saving the Bharatiya Janata Party from embarrassment.

All the Chairmen hold the rank of Minister of State (independent Charge) while members are equivalent to Ministers of State as far as the perks and protocol goes.

A notable appointment is that of Arvind Rajbhar, son of UP Cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, who heads SBSP and is known for pouring vitriol against the BJP government. Arvind has been appointed as Chairman of the Small Industries Corporation Limited, one of the most important state-run corporations.

Another senior leader of SBSP Rana Ajit Pratap Singh has been made the chairman of UP Beej Vikas Nigam (UP Seeds Development Corporation). Rajeshwar Singh (Kushinagar) is appointed as vice-chairman of UP Seed Development Corporation.

These appointments are important because almost a month back, Om Prakash Rajbhar had handed over the charge of Backward Caste development ministry as a protest over the constitution of the Backward Commission. Rajbhar claimed that his suggestions were ignored and outsiders were appointed as members. In his letter he had said that when as a minister he has no say in constitution of a Commission he has no right to head that ministry.

He left the Backward Ministry but continued to head Divyang Development Ministry. He however, was placated and withdrew his letter after his meeting with the CM.

“We are happy now that government has been judicious in making appointments in corporations,” Arvind Rajbhar said.

Chief Minister also appointed seven members of Apna Dal as members of the Corporations. Union Minister and President of Apna Dal (S) Anupriya Patel too thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for “giving important assignments” to the party leaders.

Political grape wine was ripe with speculations that the Apna Dal might walk out on the NDA alliance after Anupriya Patel gave a statement in which she said that the BJP was not taking care of its allies. She also had a meeting with Priyanka Gandhi in New Delhi giving credence to this speculation.

Through these appointments the BJP has made an attempt to set its house in order.

Former Lawmakers of the BJP have also found place in this list. Shyam Nandan Singh has been made the chairperson of UP Gau Seva Aayog while a former Lawmaker Nawab Singh Nagar from Gautam Budh Nagar is appointed as Chairman, State Cane Development Corporation.

Vice-president of the state unit of BJP JPS Rathore has been made chairman of UP Pollution Control Board. Comedian Raju Srivastava, who had joined BJP last year, has been appointed as the chairman of Film Development Council, Uttar Pradesh. This post was earlier held by Jaya Bachchan.

Surendra Nath Valmiki has been made the chairman of Rajya Safai Karamchari Aayog while Munna Singh Dhanuk (Lucknow) and Lal Babu Lamiki (Agra) have been appointed as Vice-Chairman.

Narendra Singh from Azamgarh has been appointed as Chairman of Purvanchal Vikas Board while Ramakant Nishad (Gorakhpur) has been appointed as Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Fisheries Development Corporation.

A former Congress leader Jagdish Mishra alias Balti Baba has also been appointed as Chairman UP State Agro Industrial Corporation.

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