Rajnath Singh Front-Runner For UP Chief Minister? What He Said Today

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Rajnath Singh Front-Runner For UP Chief Minister? What He Said Today

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Rajnath Singh said talks of him being UP Chief Minister are "unnecessary and futile speculation."

New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. PM Modi led BJP to mammoth win in Uttar Pradesh
  2. Crucial meet tomorrow in Lucknow to discuss who will be Chief Minister
  3. BJP has said party chief Amit Shah will take final call
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today at parliament that reports of him relocating as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh are "unnecessary and futile speculation." Mr Singh, 65, has served earlier as Chief Minister, and is among the party's most-senior leaders from UP. The BJP has won the huge prize of India's politically most important state with the biggest result for a party since 1977, a feat accomplished by and attributed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who campaigned across the state and spent three days towards the end in his constituency of the holy city of Varanasi.

Tomorrow, the party's 325 newly-elected legislators (including allies) will meet to discuss who they would like as their leader; the BJP has said party chief Amit Shah will take the final call.

Among the reported contenders are:

Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was made the president of the BJP in the state ahead of the election. The Most Backward Castes or MBCs played an important role in the BJP's win and Mr Maurya could be picked as a thank you. The BJP leadership feels that after his appointment as state president, he proved to be a good organisational leader. MBCs are as groups with whom upper castes (the party's traditional supporters) have less friction than others.

Manoj Sinha, current Minister of State for Railways and Telecom: An MTech from Benares Hindu University, he is recognized for a strong ability to connect with masses, especially rural. He belongs to the Bhumihar Brahmin caste and is considered a firm administrator.

Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma: a low-profile Brahmin leader. He was close to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and like Manoj Sinha, his educational background as a professor in Lucknow University is considered a plus. His family has old ties with the BJP's ideological mentor, the RSS. His close proximity to the PM and Mr Shah earned him the mandate to handle Gujarat, their home state, which votes soon.

Siddharth Nath Singh: is a National Secretary with the party and the grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. He belongs to the Kayasth caste, considered neutral in UPs social arithmetic. Plus he is an elected state legislator or MLA, not a parliamentarian like Manoj Sinha or Keshav Maurya. He has experience in handling complex political issues from handling states like West Bengal, where the BJP's performance improved in the last election.
 

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