Suspense Continues Over Who Will Be The New Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister

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Suspense Continues Over Who Will Be The New Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is said to be among the frontrunners for the Chief Minister's post


New Delhi/Lucknow:  Suspense continued today over the appointment of the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, four days after the BJP's resounding triumph in the most populous state, where the party won 325 seats out of 403 with its allies.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, a former UP Chief Minister, is said to be among the frontrunners for the coveted job because of his stature and administrative experience. But he was dismissive about the possibility. "Kya faltu baat kar rahe hain (what nonsense)," he said when asked whether he was a contender.

He described the speculation about his return to state politics "unnecessary and futile". Mr Singh has vast administrative experience, including as UP Chief Minister in 2000-02. As speculation swirled about the possibility of a BJP legislature party meeting tomorrow, the party's state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "The picture will be clear in the next two to four days."

During the daily media briefing of the Home Department, IG (Special Task Force) Ram Kumar, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi could visit Lucknow on March 17. "Preparations are on (in anticipation). IG (Lucknow Zone) is monitoring all the preparations," he said.

He, however, maintained he had no knowledge whether it was in connection with the swearing-in of the new government. The names of a host of leaders, including some sitting MPs are doing the rounds in political circles.

Among them is that of Manoj Sinha, an upper caste Bhumihar from the Poorvanchal belt where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi is also located. Mr Sinha, MP from Ghazipur, is serving his third term in the Lok Sabha and was given independent charge of Communication Ministry by PM Modi last year after he impressed him with his performance as Minister of State for Railways.

While Mr Singh and Mr Sinha are upper caste Thakur and Bhumihar respectively, Maurya has emerged as the OBC face of the party. His elevation as state BJP chief, many feel, helped rally non-Yadav backward castes around the party.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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