BJP MLAs to decide on UP chief minister today

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CM to take oath on March 19; Union minister Manoj Sinha is the favourite

The process of appointing a new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh has entered the home stretch. All newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs will meet in Lucknow on to elect the leader, with Union minister Manoj Sinha believed to be the favourite for the post. The legislature party meeting will take place at Lok Bhawan, the newly constructed chief minister's.

The process of installation of the next government will be quick thereafter. The new chief minister, along with his cabinet colleagues, will take oath on Sunday at 5 pm at Kanshiram Smriti Upvan, governor Ram Naik said.

Central observers — Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav — will remain present at the meeting to elect the chief minister.

Besides Sinha, home minister and former state chief minister Rajnath Singh and state party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya are being projected as strong nominees for the post by their partymen.

All these leaders in their interactions with the media have played down their chances, with Sinha turning poetic today, citing a verse which translates as ‘desires are treacherous, and change once fulfilled’.

“Naa mujhe kisi race kaa pata hai, naa main kisi race main hun (neither do I know about any race, nor I am in any race),” Sinha told reporters outside Parliament. However, sources said that the party high command is favourable to him. Besides, he also has the crucial backing of the RSS.

PTI adds: Maurya, who was discharged following his hospitalisation on Thursday after he complained of uneasiness, is seen as a favourite if the party opts for an OBC face. He parried questions and said the state legislature party will decide on the chief minister on Saturday.

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