Who will rule UP for five years? Meet the men who could be next Uttar Pradesh CM

By: | Updated: March 12, 2017 3:31 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to handpick the next Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister from a group of names.

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With BJP securing a historic mandate in Uttar Pradesh, the focus has now shifted on the contenders for chief minister’s posts in the state. The BJP and its allies won a mammoth 325 seats out of 403 contested seats for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. The saffron party won the polls primarily because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and BJP President Amit Shah’s shrewd strategy. It is now certain that both leaders would handpick the new UP CM. It is expected that they would throw a surprise on the lines of Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra.

Here are some of the names that are doing thet rounds and why they can be the next CM of the state:

Rajnath Singh: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the last BJP chief minister of UP. The senior party leader has not left any stone unturned to woo voters in the state addressing nearly 120 big and small rallies. He has not only been at the forefront of BJP’s rise with his vision and work but also created a special space in the public with his performance-oriented role. Though the minister has always maintained that he has no wish to be the Chief Ministerial candidate, but his experience of holding important posts makes Rajnath one of the top contenders for it. This is also the state that he belongs to and in-fighting in the party could be contained relatively easily with him at the helm.

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Yogi Adityanath: The name of BJP firebrand MP Adityanath is also in the running to be the next CM of the state. Like Rajnath Singh, Yogi Adityanath has also never showed his eagerness to hold CM’s position, but that could be deceptive as his supporters had organised protests in Gorakhpur, demanding the declaration of their MP as the party’s CM candidate in the state. It would be interesting to see what party decides about the future of role of this hardline leader.

Keshav Prasad Maurya: The state party unit chief and Phulpur MP, Keshav Prasad Maurya is said to be a strong contender for the CM post. Though the party leader does make unnecessary public appearances, choosing him as the CM, BJP can earn more support from the non-Yadav OBCs which the party has been missing since Kalyan Singh was sidelined.

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Manoj Sinha: The party MP from Ghazipur could also be considered for the CM designation. Sinha, an alumni of IT-Banaras Hindu University (now IIT-BHU), who is currently the Telecom and Minister of State for Railways is popular among the youths as well as middle-age and old-age people with his grass root level working style. However, in front of leaders like Rajnath Singh and Keshav Prasad Maurya, is BJP ready to promote him? Well! The answer would come soon.

Varun Gandhi: Gandhi family is synonymous to Congress, but Varun Gandhi has always supported the ideology of BJP and has been a strong pillar of the party in the state. He is the proverbial dark horse as he has been lying low and has chosen to shun any high profile campaign. Though the young leader of party has been sidelined in the campaigning of the assembly polls, the BJP can pick him as the replacement of “UP ka Ladka” Akhilesh Yadav.

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As the results of exit polls are not always accurate and can go wrong, the uncertainty remains as to who will form the government leave alone who will be the CM of the state. The first, of course, will be clear in just a few hours.

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