Sources said Bajpai had prepared a list of 105 names for the state team and was waiting for approval of the then national president Nitin Gadkari who was busy in the preparations of his own election as the national president for the second consecutive term. The list had been finalised after consultation with Narendra Singh Tomer, the party’s general secretary in-charge of UP.
Bajpai had assured party workers that he would announce his team after the Atal Shankhnad Rally, held in Lucknow on January 21 for the merger of Kalyan Singh’s Jan Kranti Party with the BJP. To test the leadership quality of those aspiring for a place in the team, Bajpai had given them targets to assemble crowds and manage the event.
A large number of party workers visited the party office on January 22, expecting an announcement. But the same day Gadkari withdrew from the president’s election and it was announced that Rajnath Singh would take his place.
“It is now certain that the list earlier made by the state president will be changed. The list will require approval of the leader who is given charge of UP by Rajnath Singh,” said a party leader. He said Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh in likely to continue in the new state team. Pankaj was elevated to the general secretary’s post in the previous team by Shahi in the middle of the Assembly elections. Three state secretaries had tendered their resignation against his decision. When contacted, Bajpai said, “Rajnathji has asked me to work in the state with a free hand. The state team will be declared very soon.” Before forming the state team, Bajpai also has to constitute the teams for six regions.
After taking over as state president in April 2012, Bajpai had decided to continue with Shahi’s same team in view of the approaching urban local body elections. The membership drive and organisational elections further forced Bajpai to defer the constitution of his team. On December 2, he was formally elected as state president.
Bajpai’s team is likely to have around two dozen office-bearers, including vice-presidents, general secretaries, secretaries and treasurer. There will also be presidents of five wings, and around 70 members in the state executive. His predecessor had constituted a team of around 250 members. “We are expecting a smaller team where the selection of workers will be on merit only,” said a former party vice-president.
Grand welcome planned for Rajnath’s visit
A cavalcade of around 1,000 vehicles will escort Rajnath Singh from Amausi airport to Nirala Nagar in Lucknow where he will address the party’s mayors and chairmen of other urban local bodies on on February 5 when he will be visiting the state capital after getting elected as national president of the party.