Adityanath meets Shah, discusses bypoll results

Adityanath meets Shah, discusses bypoll results

BJP President Amit Shah meets yoga guru Baba Ramdev during his 'Sampark for Samarthan' campaign in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday met BJP president Amit Shah for the first time after the latest bypoll defeat and amid criticism from a section of UP MLAs and MPs.

Adityanath, who reached Delhi and visited his Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya in AIIMS where the latter is recuperating after a brain surgery, is learnt to have discussed the emerging political situation in the state, where Opposition parties are joining hands to take on the BJP.

Neither Shah nor Adityanath commented on their meeting, while sources said both the leaders shared their assessment about the bypoll loss in Kairana Lok Sabha seat and Noorpur Assembly seat. The BJP had in March lost the bypolls to Lok Sabha seats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur to joint SP-BSP candidates.

While Gorakhpur is the stronghold of Adityanath, Maurya had won from Phulpur before vacating it to take over as deputy chief minister. The back-to-back bypoll losses, especially in Gorakhpur, have taken the sheen out of Adityanath's leadership with a section of MLAs and MPs questioning the way the state government is run.

In UP's Ballia, ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief and UP Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar said the disenchantment of OBCs was the reason for the BJP's defeat in bypolls. He said the backward classes were unhappy with the BJP as Maurya was not made the chief minister.

"The BJP contested assembly polls with Keshav Prasad Maurya (an OBC) as its face, but later Adityanath was made chief minister. Backwards supported the BJP in the hope that Maurya will become CM. The result of this anger reflected in the defeat of the BJP in bypolls," Rajbhar was quoted by PTI as saying. Rajbhar had earlier said corruption and laxity by officials in implementing welfare schemes were also responsible for the bypoll defeats.

While BJP Dalit MP Savitribhai Phule has been making statements against the BJP government in the Centre and UP, a BJP MLA Surendra Singh said that if certain ministers in the state cabinet are not removed, the party’s downfall in UP is certain. His comments came soon after the recent bypoll results.

Earlier in the day, Shah continued his 'Sampark for Samarthan' (contact for support) campaign meeting yoga guru Ramdev and former Chief Justice of India R C Lahoti.

"I met yoga guru Swami Ramdev as part of 'Sampark for Samarthan' programme and informed him about the Narendra Modi-led government's achievements and public welfare policies in its four years of rule," Shah tweeted after the meeting with Ramdev in the morning.