As mystery continues over the name of the new Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the newly-elected members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are scheduled to meet on Saturday in Lucknow at 4 pm to elect the successor to the Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav.
The top contenders to lead the post are Union Minister Manoj Sinha, Union Finance Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP's UP unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP MP Yogi Adityanath.
With just hours away to elect the new leader to head India’s largest state, Keshav Maurya met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
Adityanath also reached Lucknow while Sinha reached Babatpur airport to leave for Lucknow.
In another major development, Manoj Sinha is almost certain to be the new CM although Maurya was still in the race.
"It is almost decided. The announcement is likely to be made after the (newly-elected) BJP MLAs meet in Lucknow," said an informed source to a news agency.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who arrived in Lucknow to hold meeting with the BJP MLAs, has dismissed all the media reports and said the names are solely based on ‘speculation’.
"Names in the media reports are pure speculative, on Saturday evening we will be meeting the MLAs and then we will decide," Naidu said.
Earlier on Saturday, Sinha offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath and the Kaal Bhairav temples in Varanasi.
Sinha on Friday denied any reports for his name being dragged in the race for the coveted post.
"Neither I am in the race for UP CM nor do I know of any such race," Sinha said.
The BJP made a comeback to power in the state after 15 years, securing 312 seats out of 403 in the recent Assembly elections,