UP: Will Yogi make Keshav Prasad Maurya his Deputy again?
Before his induction into the state cabinet, Maurya was state president and the party had successfully contested the 2017 election under his leadership
Yogi Adityanath will be sworn in as Chief Minister on Friday. But all eyes are on Keshav Prasad Maurya, the OBC mascot of BJP during the assembly elections. The question asked is whether he would be accommodated in the newly formed government.
In the Yogi 1.0 government, Keshav Prasad Maurya was the Deputy Chief Minister and was in charge of the important Public Works Department. Just before elections, Maurya emerged as claimant of Chief Minister’s post as there were widespread allegations that backward communities were not happy under Yogi Raj. The RSS and senior BJP leaders intervened and were able to placate Keshav Prasad Maurya.
His position jumped many notches after another OBC leader Swamy Prasad Maurya left the party along with two more backward ministers calling BJP anti-backward. In this political onslaught, Keshav Prasad Maurya became the face of the backward leadership, and the party’s campaign revolved around him.
But, his loss to Pallavi Patel from the Sirathu assembly seat changed the equation. The questions are now being raised whether Keshav Prasad Maurya would be inducted into the Yogi ministry or he would be made state president of the party.
The BJP is divided over this issue.
A section feels that Maurya would be retained as Deputy Chief Minister in the Yogi 2.0 government and would be given the same prominence as was given in the last government. “Losing an election does not make one a lesser leader. He might have lost his seat but he helped the party to win many seats in the backward dominated belt,” a senior BJP leader said.
He even cites the case of Pushkar Dhami, who despite losing his Khatima seat, was made Chief Minister of Uttarakhand because he led the party to a magnificent victory. Many sitting legislators have offered to vacate seats for Dhami
“Maurya is still a Member of the Legislative Council and there is no restriction of his joining the government. He can be part of the government,” he said.
Another section of BJP leadership believes that Maurya will not have the moral authority to continue to be part of the government after he lost the election himself. “He could be made State President of the party and the present incumbent Swatantra Dev Singh could be inducted into cabinet,” another party leader opined.
Before his induction into the state cabinet, Maurya was state president and the party had successfully contested the 2017 election under his leadership.
Meanwhile, Yogi is likely to be elected as leader of the BJP Legislature Party on Thursday evening and on Friday he will be sworn in as Chief Minister. At least 50 ministers are also likely to be sworn in with Yogi.