Who will be the next UP CM? With Keshav Prasad Maurya out of race, here's a list of 'frontrunners'

With Keshav effectively out of the race, the spotlight has now shifted to other contenders and many rumours are doing the rounds.

Uttar Pradesh BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was considered as one of the frountrunners for the post of Chief Minister in the state, may be out of the race. Amit Shah today said that the party will endorse its state unit president’s choice.

The fresh statement of the BJP national president brought a halt to the speculations around Keshav Prasad Maurya’s chances of becoming the CM.

Maurya is like Prime Minister Narendra Modi in lot many ways. A dedicated Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker who rose through ranks, sold tea at his father’s tea stall as a child and hails from an OBC background. At just 47, Maurya has emerged as one of the biggest leaders of the state.

However, it seems that the party high command doesn’t want him as UP’s CM. In a smart move, Shah has given him the responsibility of choosing the CM rather than becoming one. Maurya himself has ruled out his chances and bitterly said: “Mere paas to naam tai karne ki zimmedari hai. Apna naam koi kaise tai karega? (My responsibility is to select the next CM. How can anyone pick their own name?)”

With Maurya evidently out of the race, the spotlight has now shifted to other contenders. From Rajnath Singh to Manoj Sinha, here’s a list of people who are rumoured to be frontrunners for the post of CM:

Rajnath Singh: There’s a speculation that the Home Minister and the MP from Lucknow could be sent back to UP for the post of CM. Notably, he has served as the Chief Minister of the state and the post is not new for him.

Manoj Sinha: After Rajnath, the other minister from the Centre close to the race is Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha. A B.Tech and M.Tech in Civil Engineering from IIT-BHU, Sinha has gained the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah through his work and as an organisational strategist.

Dinesh Sharma: The 53-year-old mayor of Lucknow is understood to be close to Shah. He joined Shah’s team as the national vice-president of the party.

Yogi Adityanath: The firebrand BJP leader has won the Gorakhpur seat five times. At 26, he was the youngest Lok Sabha member. There’s still a buzz that he could be given the job of handling India’s most populous state.

Satish Mahana: He is a 7-time MLA from Kanpur and is said to be a frontrunner as well. Several BJP members firmly believe that the post of Chief Minister can be handed over  to this ‘dark horse’.