Lucknow | Jagran Politics Desk: Amid speculations over a possible cabinet reshuffle in Uttar Pradesh ahead of next year's assembly election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday appointed former IAS officer Arvind Kumar Sharma, who is known for his closeness with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as its state unit's vice president.

Sharma's evaluations as the BJP's vice president is important as the buzz over a possible cabinet reshuffle in Uttar Pradesh has gained pace over the last few days. Last week, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had also visited Delhi where he met PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda.

While the BJP has maintained that it will fight next year's assembly election under Adityanath, it is being speculated that the saffron party wants Sharma to play an important role in Uttar Pradesh.

Sharma had joined the BJP on January 14 this year. A day later, he was made the party's candidate for the legislative council polls in Uttar Pradesh, giving a hint that he will be given a key position in the state government led by Adityanath.

BJP's central team in Lucknow

The BJP will send its central team, consisting of BL Santosh and Radha Mohan Singh, for a three-day visit to Lucknow, starting Monday. The two leaders, who will visit Uttar Pradesh for the second time in less than a month, will hold crucial meetings with state leaders.

Reports indicate that the two leaders are being sent to Uttar Pradesh on the recommendation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), BJP's ideological mentor, which has flagged concerns over the party's recent performance in the state panchayat election.

Notably, BJP's Nishad Party has also said that it's time for the saffron party to pull up its socks in Uttar Pradesh otherwise it may not come into power again. Speaking to reporters, Nishad Party national president Sanjay Kumar Nishad said that the BJP has failed to fulfil the promise of extending reservation to the Nishad community.

He claimed that it was due to their concerted efforts that the BJP bagged the maximum seats in the state during the Lok Sabha polls, despite the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) stitching an alliance. Congress, BSP and the SP deceived the Nishad Party and now they have been marginalised, he added.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma