The BJP is carefully planning its ministries in the four states it won last week, to prep for the 2024 national election, sources say.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top BJP leaders have held several meetings to finalise ministers in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur – states where it won emphatic victories in recent elections.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who won a record re-election, was a part of these consultations. He may take oath on March 21, sources say.
The BJP leadership has asked for data on all the winning candidates, so as to be able to identify ministers.
Sources say the ministers will be chosen with some factors in mind – caste and regional calculations, proper representation to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes and OBCs (Other Backward Class), and emphasis on youth, women and educational qualifications.
“The youth are of special significance in order to ensure leadership for the BJP and the country in the next 25 years,” PM Modi has reportedly advised his party men.
BJP MPs have also been ordered to pinpoint 100 polling booth areas in their parliamentary constituencies where the party did not perform well in the polls. They also have to identify the reasons and find solutions.
In Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath may get 20 new ministers. Eleven ministers – including Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Maurya – lost the election and four switched parties. That makes 15 vacancies.
A few ministers are likely to be sacked over poor performance, sources say.
Sources say the new ministers are being identified with a focus on the Jatav community, which is believed to have switched its allegiance from Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to the BJP. Swatandra Dev Singh is the frontrunner to replace Keshav Maurya as Deputy Chief Minister.
Babyrani Maurya, who quit as Uttarakhand Governor to contest the election, may be given a big post.
Former bureaucrats like SK Sharma, Asim Arun and Rajeshwar Singh are likely to be made ministers.
Some of the new ministers may be from western Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP performed unexpectedly well.