Hours before the announcement of the poll schedule by the Election Commission on Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appointed over two dozen new office-bearers of different state-owned corporations and boards in a last-minute bid to placate sulking alliance partners.
The state government appointed chairmen of UP Housing Board, Seed Corporation, Cane Farmers’ Institute, Small Industries Corporation and various other state-owned entities.
Those appointed included the son of the sulking Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) president and UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, and Bollywood comedian Raju Srivastava.
Rajbhar’s son Arvind Rajbhar has been appointed as the chairman of the UP Small Industries Corporation. The post carries the status of minister of state.
Rajbhar has been a vocal critic of the BJP government and Adityanath and had even threatened to sever ties with the saffron party. One of his demands included the appointment of the people, recommended by him for these posts.
Sources said that many of his nominees had been accommodated in the corporations and boards.
Similarly, some nominees recommended by the Apna Dal (AD), another sulking alliance partner of the BJP, have also been accepted, sources said.
The appointees also included members of the ‘Nishad’ (fishermen) community and other prominent OBC leaders signalling a last-ditch attempt by the state government to woo these communities, whose role would be crucial in deciding the outcome of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in several constituencies in the state.