Panchayat results hold key to UP BJP MLAs’ tickets in 2022 (IANS Special)

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Lucknow, May 25 (IANS) BJP legislators, in whose constituencies the party has performed poorly in the recent panchayat elections, may end up losing their tickets in the upcoming assembly elections in 2022.

According to party sources, the BJP leadership sees the party’s defeat in panchayat elections as a direct consequence of the poor performance of the legislators.

“This means that more than 50 per cent of the legislators could be changed.

“The party lost in places like Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi which are known as our strongholds and there can be no explanation for this other than the inadequacies of our legislators,” said a senior party functionary.

The BJP, for the first time, had declared a list of candidates for the 3,050 zila panchayat ward member seats. It claims to have won over 900 seats, which means BJP-backed candidates have lost more than 2,000 seats.

BJP legislators, on the other hand, blame the Covid anger against the Yogi Adityanath government for the panchayat defeat.

“The Covid management at the ground level has been deplorable and bureaucrats have ensured that medical care does not reach the common man. The chief minister’s best efforts have been diluted by the officers. Why blame us when even the low-ranking officers do not listen to elected representatives,” said a senior party MLA.

The party leadership is also said to be upset over the fact that its legislators and MPs have done precious little to dilute the anger of farmers over farm laws.

“We have been repeatedly asking the MPs and MLAs to reach out to farmers and explain the farm laws to them so that they do not get carried away by opposition propaganda. But, it appears, that most of them did not step out of their homes, citing the pandemic,” the functionary said.

Meanwhile, speculations of a cabinet reshuffle in the state have begun after a recent meeting between the chief minister and bureaucrat-turned-MLC Arvind Kumar Sharma, who is known as a close confidant of the Prime Minister.

Reports of Sharma’s induction into the council of ministers have been doing the round ever since he joined the BJP in January and was made member of the UP legislative council.

However, party sources, said that there was no chance of a major cabinet reshuffle at the moment since the first priority of the party and the government was to combat the Covid and black fungus infections.

Moreover, there seems to be a strong difference of opinion between the chief minister and central leaders over names of those who are to be dropped from the ministry and those who are to be included.

“However, one or two ministers may be inducted into the cabinet,” the party functionary said, indicating that Arvind Sharma could be given a cabinet berth in near future.