Lucknow, Jan 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trusted bureaucrat Arvind Sharma, who took voluntary retirement from service earlier this week, will join the Bharatiya Janata Pary (BJP) in Lucknow on Thursday.
According to party sources, Sharma could be one of the BJP candidates in the Vidhan Parishad polls in the state.
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh confirmed that Sharma, who hails from Mau district and belongs to Bhumihar caste, will join the party on Thursday.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has been asked by the Central leadership to rush to Lucknow from Kolkata to attend the joining ceremony at the party office where the other Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, along with the BJP organisation secretary Sunil Bansal, will also be present.
Though party leaders evaded queries about the former bureaucrat playing a larger role in state politics, speculations are rife that he could be appointed the third Deputy Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh.
"Why would one of the most trusted men of the Prime Minister be just an MLC? He is being sent for a bigger role," said a senior party functionary.
Meanwhile, nominations for the Vidhan Parishad polls are being filed until January 18 and BJP is sure to win 10 out of 12 seats falling vacant.
The party is likely to announce the list of its candidates over the weekend.
Sharma joined Modi as the Secretary in October 2001. He continued to work with him in the PMO from 2014 onward as well and took over as the MSME secretary in April 2020.
A low-profile officer, Sharma is known for delivering time-bound results.
He earned Modi's trust as the secretary in his CMO and successfully handled the 'Vibrant Gujarat' campaign to get investment to the state.
He served in his PMO for six years.