CHENNAI: Kaun banega UP ka CM? Here’s a list of top seven contenders from BJP for the position Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
· Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh, who currently serves as the Union home minister, had previously served as the chief minister of UP and as a cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government. Singh is a strong contender for the position. However, the question is if he would leave his cabinet post and take up a role at the State level?
· Keshav Prasad Maurya
The BJP had projected the party’s state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya as the key OBC face in 2017 Assembly polls. An MP from Phulpur, Allahabad, Maurya’s political career also took off in 2014 itself, after facing two consecutive defeats in the 2002 and 2007 assembly election in UP.
· Yogi Adityanath
BJP’s firebrand MP Adityanath is also in the race to UP CM’s position. Despite Adityanath never claiming to be a contender for the post, his supporters had organised protests in Gorakhpur, demanding the declaration of their MP as the party’s CM candidate in the State. He has been elected as an MP from Gorakhpur to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.
· Manoj Sinha
The party MP from Ghazipur is currently the telecom and minister of state for railways. He was elected for successive terms in 1996 and 1999 and again in 2014 to Lok Sabha from Ghazipur constituency. Sinha, an alumnus of IT-Banaras Hindu University (now IIT-BHU), is now being considered for the position owing to his ‘clean image’.
· Siddharth Nath Singh
The grandson of late PM Lal Bahadur Shastri and BJP’s national secretary, Siddharth Nath Singh, is a strong contender for the position due to his close association with PM Narendra Modi.
· Dinesh Sharma
Dinesh Sharma, the mayor of Lucknow and national vice president of the party, is said to enjoy PM Narendra Modi’s confidence as well as the backing of the RSS. The Lucknow University professor was assigned the charge of the PM’s home state Gujarat soon after the party’s landslide victory in 2014 Lok Sabha election.
· Santosh Gangwar
Minister of state for finance, Santhosh Gangwar, is known as a soft-spoken person who stays away from the media. A veteran Parliamentarian, Gangwar has represented Bareilly in Lok Sabha since 1989, except for the 15th Lok Sabha (2009-2014).