New Delhi: With speculation rife over the BJP’s chief ministerial pick for Uttar Pradesh, party chief Amit Shah on Thursday left everyone guessing with his remark that he has given the responsibility of choosing the CM to state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Maurya, who is himself seen as one of the probables, then told reporters that how can he choose himself, when asked if he is a contender for the post.
Shah was asked by reporters following the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting about the chief ministerial nominee for the state. “I have left the responsibility to Keshav (to choose the CM),” he said while leaving.
Reporters then rushed to Maurya, who was also there. There were even conjectures within the party after these remarks as to whether Maurya, who is BJP’s OBC face in UP, is out of the reckoning.
Maurya was later admitted to the RML Hospital after he complained of uneasiness. According to a senior doctor of the hospital, the 48-year-old leader’s blood pressure was slightly higher and he had been suffering from cold and mild fever for a week.
Shah has been holding meetings with top party leaders from UP and also Uttarakhand to decide on the choice of chief ministers for the two states where the saffron outfit has received unprecedented mandate.
Besides Maurya, union ministers Rajnath Singh and Manoj Sinha are seen as strong contenders for the post in UP.
Trivendra Singh Rawat, Prakash Pant and Satpal Maharaj are front-runners for the job in Uttarakhand. However, most party leaders appeared clueless about the likely picks.
With the BJP leadership often surprising people with choice of state leaders, like Manohar Lal Khattar and Vijay Rupani, both of whom were not seen as favourites to lead governments in Haryana and Gujarat, sources said relatively lesser known leaders cannot be ruled out.
Newly elected UP BJP MLAs will meet in Lucknow on 18 March and are likely to elect their legislature party leader. Party’s central observers—Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav—will be present at the meeting on Saturday, UP BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.