Ahead of 2019, Yogi wins RSS support, may have to downsize ministries

The development comes after Yogi Adityanath met senior leaders of the RSS, including Bhaiyyaji Joshi and Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday.

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is likely to lead BJP’s campaign in 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the state, has garnered the support of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). However, the Sangh -- the ideological mentor of the BJP – has asked the chief minister to reduce the number of government departments in the state, various news reports said.

The development comes after Yogi Adityanath met senior leaders of the RSS, including Bhaiyyaji Joshi and Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday.

The number of government departments is likely to be brought down to 50 from current 80, a report in NDTV said quoting sources.

This means that several ministers could be dropped in the next reshuffle. The cutting down of ministries, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year, goes in sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maxim of "Minimum government and maximum governance".

Also Read: Yogi meets RSS leaders over polls

The chief minister, who later returned to Lucknow, also met Dattatreya Hosbale, another top RSS leader, at the organisation’s office in Lucknow.

Adityanath presented his government’s report card before RSS leaders in Delhi and Lucknow, Hindustan Times claimed while quoting sources.

Yogi Adityanath who succeeded Akhilesh Yadav as the chief minister of the state last year had inherited a huge number of departments from the Samajwadi Party chief.

Though, he had formed a 47-member cabinet, at least 30 ministers hold more than one department.

Last year, Niti Aayog had suggested the Uttar Pradesh government to restructure administrative departments and downsize the number of government departments from 94 to 37 to ensure better implementation of government schemes.

The UP chief minister’s consultation with the top RSS brass is significant as it comes ahead of BJP chief Amit Shah’s visit to the state in the first week of July.

The saffron party is planning to appoint a person of the Other Backward Class to a key organisational post, aiming to balance caste equations amid likelihood of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party coming together in 2019.

“Just as the possibility of several sitting MPs being replaced in UP are high, similarly one might see a strategic expansion of Yogi ministry. While some ministers may be axed, a few might be accommodated in the organisation to balance caste combinations,” a BJP leader told Hindustan Times.

Sources to news reports also said that BJP’s loss in three Lok Sabha by-elections this year, the alleged poor performance of some Yogi ministers and organising of the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad next year were other issues that were discussed in the yesterday’s meeting.

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