BJP will hold a legislature party meet in Lucknow on Saturday. Senior leaders including Venkaiah Naidu and Bexpected to attend the meeting to decide who will be the next CM of Uttar Pradesh. However, one of the strong candidates and BJP state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya admitted in the ICU ward of the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi on Thursday.
UP BJP’s General Secretary Vijay Pathak said that newly-elected party MLAs from the state will also attend the meet where the next legislature party leader is likely to be elected.
All of the 324 MLAs of the party will meet at 5 pm on Saturday to pick the next Chief Minister of the state.
The BJP has shown considerable alacrity when it came to Goa and Manipur. However, in Uttarakhand, government formation has taken a back seat as the BJP’s Parliamentary Board meeting, scheduled for March 16, has been postponed.
In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is extra cautious and party insiders say there are reasons for it. The appointed observers for Uttar Pradesh were expected to reach Lucknow on March 15 and the meeting with newly-elected MLAs was scheduled for March 16 but was cancelled at the last minute.
According to sources in the BJP, the party does not want to take one wrong step when it comes to Uttar Pradesh. The party observers too are playing safe. Several MLAs have been called to Delhi to have a free and frank talk on what should be done.
Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah are very particular that the UP CM must rise above expectations. UP is extremely crucial for the BJP as it needs to win big again in 2019 in order to return to power.
Many in the BJP are in favour of appointing Home Minister Rajnath Singh as the UP CM. Although he has denied it, his name continues to do the rounds. The BJP also is thinking of appointing two deputy CMs in the state. One would be from the backward castes and the other from the upper castes, said sources.
Several names, including those of Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma, have been doing the rounds. UP BJP Chief Keshav Prasad Maurya was effectively out of the race on Thursday after party president Amit Shah said Maurya had been charged with “selecting the name of the next CM”.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Union Minister JP Nadda informed that condition of Keshav Prasad Maurya is normal and he is fine.
“Doctor is looking after him. Medical bulletin will be issued soon,” he added.
Maurya, who was considered one of the frontrunners for the post of Chief Minister, may now be out of the running. The party’s national president Amit Shah on Thursday said he had given Maurya the responsibility of “selecting the next Chief Minister”.