After an emphatic victory in Uttar Pradesh and much suspense later, it seems that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah might announce Manoj Sinha’s name as UP’s Chief Minister.
Although names like Yogi Adityanath, Rajnath Singh, Dinesh Sharma, Satish Mahana and Keshav Prasad Maurya were doing the rounds, sources close to the saffron party say that none could make it to the top job.
Who is Manoj Sinha?
Manoj is a Member of Parliament from Ghazipur district of the state. An alumnus of IIT-BHU, Sinha is currently the Union Minister of Communication and Minister of State for Railways. Before actively joining politics, Sinha was a member of the General Council, School of Planning between 1999-2000.
His political career kicked off when he became the president of the Banaras Hindu University Students Union in 1982. A three-time MP, Sinha was inducted into the Union Cabinet in 2014. Impressed by his work as a Minister of State for Railways, he was given an independent charge of Telecommunications in 2016.
Reasons why Sinha could be chosen as the CM:
- UP is a caste-sensitive state and the party here would need someone who is neither going to antagonise Dalits in the state nor the upper caste voters. Also, the CM shouldn’t pose a challenge to the central leadership. Manoj Sinha fits the bill in all these cases. Being a Bhoomihar, an upper caste, he will be accepted by all the sections within and outside the party.
- Sinha’s caste is his biggest advantage. He has become a caste-neutral Chief Ministerial contender just like Devendra Fadnavis in Maharastra, Vijay Rupani in Gujarat, Raghubar Das in Jharkhand and Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana.
- The most positive thing about Sinha is his image as a non-controversial leader. He slowly moved through the ranks and impressed Shah with his organisational skills. Sinha’s knowledge of caste arithmetic in different regions of the state also enhanced his stature within the party.
- UP now needs a leader who is known not for his politics but his work. Someone who can guarantee development. An engineer by training, Sinha is the only name among all front runners who fits the criteria for his work in the Railway Ministry has been commendable.
- Modi and Shah are also trying to break the stereotype that a CM nominee has to be considered only from a caste that has numerical preponderance. By choosing Sinha, the duo would send out a message that they have chosen someone who can deliver the best for the state.
- A PM cannot always run the country all by himself. He also needs a few honest and trustworthy confidantes who can give genuine suggestions. After Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar moved to Goa, Modi wouldn’t want to lose Rajnath Singh!