Lucknow: Who will be the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh? This is a question that is very hard to answer and has reportedly been left to Amit Shah, the BJP President.
The unprecedented electoral result in the most populated state of the country, has thrown a challenge for the BJP to install a capable chief minister in Lucknow. The whole campaign of the saffron party was built around Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party fought election in his name.
This seems to have paid huge dividends for the party as it rode to power winning 315 assembly seats, gaining more than three fourth majority in the state assembly. No one thought it was possible. A simple majority was what the party was looking forward.
Modi, well aware of the importance of the state elections, worked tirelessly and allowed complete freedom to Amit Shah to run the campaign. He seems to have developed into a master poll strategist. He camped there while the other parties bickered, fought and lost. No one is to be blamed, except them for the loss.
They took the state election too lightly, while Modi and Shah deployed every possible resource in winning the state. In the final phase, almost the entire cabinet was based in Varanasi where the party was fighting a ‘desperate war. This ensured handsome return for the party.
Now people are wondering as to who will be the new chief minister of the biggest and one of the most resourceful states in the country.
Here is the probable list of contenders for the top job in the state with 200 million population.
Manoj Sinha – He is one person whose name is on the top of any such discussion. He is very close to Prime Minister Modi and has won two Parliament elections from the state. He is the telecom minister in Modi’s cabinet. Belonging to upper caste Bhumihar caste, he also manages Varanasi parliamentary constituency of the Prime Minister.
Yogi Adityanath – Yogi Adityanath is the six time member of Parliament. After winning his first election at the age of 26, he has never lost an election. He represents Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha since 1998. Adityanath is the Mahant or head priest of the Gorakhnath Mutt, a major Hindu temple in GorakhpurHe is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a social, cultural and nationalist group of youth who seek to provide rightist Hindu platform and represents far rightist elements in the party.
Keshav Prasad Maurya – Maurya is the president of the state BJP. The 47-year-old MP belongs to a backward community. He was also closely associated with the VHP during the Ram Temple movement in the 1990s. His appointment as the president of BJP’s state unit was aimed to garner support among the non-Yadav OBCs.
Rajnath Singh – One of the top ministers in Narendra Modi government at the center, Singh is a former chief minister of the state and the former president of the BJP. The 65-year old Singh is India’s home minister. The senior-most BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh, he is considered close to the RSS. He has the experience of running a state government.
Mahesh Sharma – Despite being the first time MP, Sharma is being among the front runner for the post of UP chief minister. He represents Lok Sabha seat from Gautam Buddha Nagar and is currently the tourism minister in Modi’s cabinet. A practising doctor who owns the Kailash Hospital in Noida, is also close to the BJP’s parent party, the RSS.