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The newly-elected legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will meet in the state capital on Saturday to elect the new Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, a party leader said on Thursday. A communique to all the 312 BJP MLAs had been sent, asking them to be present in the state capital on that day, he said. Sate General Secretary of the party Vijay Bahadur Pathak, while confirming the date for the legislators’ meet also informed that two central observers — M Venkaiah Naidu and Bhupendra Yadav — will be in Lucknow to oversee the election of the new leader.
The BJP, which won three-fourths majority in the 403-member House, is returning to power after 14 years. It has 325 seats, including its allies, in the 17th Vidhan Sabha. While there is no clarity over the name for the next Chief Minister, the central leadership of the BJP is learnt to be toying with the names of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Telecom Manoj Sinha.
Names of two more union ministers, Smriti Irani and Kalraj Mishra, Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma, national BJP Spokesperson Shrikant Sharma and Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath have been doing the rounds for the state’s top post. Rajnath Singh, on more than two occasions, has refused being in the race and has termed such talks as “crap”. Manoj Sinha, insiders say, could be the final choice as he has a proven administrative record by serving in two union ministries, is a BHU passout, is amiable to workers and colleagues and comes from Ghazipur, Poorvanchal — an important region for the BJP.