Uttar Pradesh chief minister: Rajnath's name gains ground

  • Manmath Nayak/thestatesman.com | New Delhi

    March 16, 2017 | 05:58 PM
BJP, Parliamentary Board meet, race for UP CM, Rajnath Singh

PHOTO: AFP

Days after the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) resounding triumph in the most populous state Uttar Pradesh, where the party won 325 seats out of 403 with its allies, suspense over who will be the new chief minister continues to build up even as the meeting of the Parliamentary board of BJP remained inconclusive on the same.

The party's Parliamentary Board met on Thursday to decide on the matter besides felicitating PM Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah for the huge victory.

Many names are doing the rounds for the CM candidature for UP. Despite his denial, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is the one of the top contenders for the post of CM of UP. The name of Rajnath Singh as CM of UP is gaining more grounds as his security team visited UP recently.

Apart from Home Minister Rajnath Singh, others in the fray are Keshav Prasad Maurya, Manoj Sinha, Shrikanth Sharma and Yogi Adityanath for the coveted post. Interestingly, Maurya is state BJP Chief and won with the largest margin in the recently concluded elections.

However, party president Amit Shah was quoted as saying by a news portal that BJP will endorse its state president's choice and the party would back state party chief's pick.

"How can I pick my own name," Maurya too was quoted as saying by the same portal.

Meanwhile, Maurya is admitted to the ICU at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi for health issues. Here is a quick list of the top contenders:

Rajnath Singh: A former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and as a Cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government, Rajnath has served as the President of the BJP twice -- 2005 to 2009 and 2013 to 2014. He began his career as a physics lecturer and used his long-term association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become involved with the Janata Party.

Satish Mahana: A seven-time MLA from Kanpur Cantonment and currently representing Maharajpur constituency of Kanpur, Mahana participated in the 2009 general elections as a BJP candidate from Kanpur. He was the deputy leader of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

Dinesh Sharma: BJP's national vice president in charge of Gujarat, Dinesh Sharma, also a Lucknow University professor, is close to PM Modi. Sharma is also a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) old timer.

Manoj Sinha: Hailing from eastern Uttar Pradesh, Manoj Sinha is known for his clean image. The 57-year-old BJP leader of the Bhumihar caste has served as a Lok Sabha member from Ghazipur three times.

Shrikanth Sharma: BJP's national secretary and spokesperson Shrikanth Sharma is a non-controversial figure. A member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Mathura Constituency in Mathura district, Sharma Sharma is a strong contender because of his proximity to BJP President Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Yogi Adityanath: Politician and a priest, Yogi Adityanath is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP who has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha. Head priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, Adityanath is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a social, cultural and nationalist group of youth who seek to provide rightist Hindu platform.

Meanwhile, latest reports suggest that the BJP will finalise UP CM on Saturday.

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