All eyes would be on Lucknow where the Bharatiya Janata Party will appoint its candidate to lead Uttar Pradesh. After a mammoth victory, the party is looking for a person who will lead the all-important state of Uttar Pradesh. The name of Manoj Sinha, a minister in the Union government has been doing the rounds, and BJP sources say that many are favouring him for the post.
The BJP is however known to spring surprises. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah, the party has always chosen a candidate who was never viewed as a favourite. Take the case of both Manohar Lal Khattar and Vijay Rupani, the chief ministers of Haryana and Gujarat.
The UP BJP MLAs will meet at Lucknow at 5 pm on Saturday where a final decision on the leader would be made. There are only a few within the party who are aware of who would lead the UP government. Most of the MLAs have not been informed about the next CM. They would get to know at the meeting and the choice of the candidate chosen by the top brass will be elected unanimously on Saturday.
While Sinha's name has been doing the rounds, others such as Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh unit BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya too are said to be in the race. While Rajnath was a strong contender to the post, it appears as though Modi is not ready to lose him at the Centre for now. Maurya, on the other hand, was given the responsibility of choosing the UP CM and a few days ago he told reporters that he could not select himself. This only added to the suspense.
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The swearing in ceremony will be held on Sunday. It is expected to be a grand affair. The Kanshiram Smriti Upvan in Lucknow has been decked up for the event. The event is likely to be attended by both Modi and Shah.
The BJP's top brass had a lot of factors to consider before it could choose a candidate to lead UP. The party is returning to power in the state after 15 years. It wants to retain its position in the next elections too. Moreover for the BJP, UP is crucial for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party along with its allies got a mammoth 325 out of 403 seats in the assembly elections. It has expectations to live up to, and hence, choosing the right candidate becomes very crucial.