Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha is likely to be appointed as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, said sources.
With several bigwigs such as Rajnath Singh and Keshav Prasad Maurya being considered for the top post in politically significant state, the BJP sources close to OneIndia said that Sinha has emerged as the party's choice. They, however, also said that last minute changes cannot be ruled out.
Sinha, an alumni of IIT-BHU, is a three-time BJP MP in Lok Sabha and represents Ghazipur in the Lower House. He was also the BHU Students Union president during his college days.
Uttar Pradesh is a state where caste equations matter a great deal. Sinha is a Bhumihar, but largely seen as caste-neutral politician having acceptance across castes.
After a landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh poll, it had become a problem of plenty for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya was bestowed with the responsibility of choosing the UP chief minister, necessarily meaning that he was out of the race.
Reports say that Rajnath Singh, who was being seen as the front runner for the CM post, is undoubtedly the tallest leader in Uttar Pradesh, but a politician of his stature and credentials are needed at the Centre.
The BJP will announce the name of the CM formally at 5 pm on Sunday following the party's legislature meet to be held in Lucknow. The swearing in ceremony is likely to take place on Sunday.