Lucknow: As the suspense over who will succeed Akhilesh Yadav as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh continues, all eyes will be on the BJP Legislative Party meeting in Lucknow.
All of the 324 MLAs of the party will meet at 5 pm on Saturday to pick the next Chief Minister of the state.
Senior party leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Bhupendra Yadav will be flown in as “special observers” for the meeting. The BJP won a thumping majority in the 403-member UP Vidhan Sabha, dislodging the ruling Samajwadi Party from power. After the landslide victory, the party is looking towards government formation in Lucknow.
Several names, including those of Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma, have been doing the rounds. UP BJP Chief Keshav Prasad Maurya was effectively out of the race on Thursday after party president Amit Shah said Maurya had been charged with “selecting the name of the next CM”.
Asked who would be the next UP CM, Shah said, “Keshav jiska naam tay karenge, uspe mohar laga denge (We will give our stamp of approval to anyone who’s name Keshav decides on).”
Speaking to reporters later, Maurya himself ruled out his chances of becoming CM. “Mere paas toh naam tay karne ka zimma hai. Apna naam koi kaise tay karega? (My responsibility is to zero in on the next name. How can anyone pick their own name?).”
The name being tossed around the most is that of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Rumors of Singh being given the top job in Lucknow gained currency on Thursday after reports emerged that his security team had visited 5, Kalidas Marg, the official residence of the UP Chief Minister.