Seven contenders for CM's post

Seven contenders for CM's post

Seven contenders for CM's post

 With the massive victory in the Assembly elections, the race for the post of chief minister of India’s biggest state has begun in the saffron party.

Though the BJP had not projected any face in the state, there seems to be as many as seven contenders for the top post.

In fact, the supporters of some of the main contenders have even started lobbying for the post.

State BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya, who along with national president Amit Shah led the party to victory, is one of the frontrunners for the post. Maurya’s supporters hailed him as the future chief minister, when he arrived at the state BJP headquarters here around noon.

Slogans like ‘Pradesh ka CM kaisa ho... Keshav Maurya jaisa ho’ (who should be the CM of UP... he should be like Keshav Maurya) reverberated in the air as he walked into the party office amid a shower of flower petals and ‘gulal’ (dry red-coloured Holi powder).

“The party will decide about the chief minister,” Maurya, who hailed from the OBC, which, barring the Yadavs, stood solidly behind the BJP in the polls, said when asked if he was in the race for the top post.

Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, a Bhumihar, is also among the contenders. Sinha came in for praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election rallies. An MP from Ghazipur, Sinha was deputed to look after eastern UP by Shah.

Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath has also thrown his hat in the ring. His supporters even organised a ‘havan’ (a religious ritual) for his anointment as the chief minister.

BJP national vice president and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma too figures in the list of possible contenders. Sharma is considered to be close to Shah.

Party spokesman Shrikant Sharma, who has won from Mathura, is also being considered as one of the claimants for the post. Shrikant was even hailed as the possible chief minister by Shah during a campaign rally.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s supporters exuded confidence that he is likely to be made the chief minister. “Rajnath Singh has the experience... he was earlier chief minister of the state as well as the state party president, and knows the state very well,'' said a BJP leader, considered to be close to Rajnath.