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UP Polls 2017: Rajnath to Adityanath, if BJP wins, here are the top 5 challengers for chief minister’s post

UP Polls 2017: If BJP gets the chance to make the government, the biggest question is who would be the chief minister of the state? (PTI)

UP Polls 2017: The ‘lotus’ of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to bloom in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, if the exit polls are anything to go by – they have all predicted a major victory for the Narendra Modi-led party in the state. If the results turn out to be true and the saffron party gets the chance to make the government, the biggest question is who would be the chief minister of the state? There had been speculation around the names of several party leaders as CM candidate, but BJP state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya had announced that BJP will not project any face for the top state post in the polls. But now when the party is getting positive results, let’s take a look at the prominent leaders of the party who could be the CM in this politically most crucial state.

Rajnath Singh: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the last BJP chief minister of UP. The senior party leader has not left any stone unturned to woo voters in the state addressing nearly 120 big and small rallies. He has not only been at the forefront of BJP’s rise with his vision and work but also created a special space in the public with his performance-oriented role. Though the minister has always maintained that he has no wish to be the Chief Ministerial candidate, but his experience of holding important posts makes Rajnath one of the top contenders for it. This is also the state that he belongs to and in-fighting in the party could be contained relatively easily with him at the helm.

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Yogi Adityanath: The name of BJP firebrand MP Adityanath is also in the running to be the next CM of the state. Like Rajnath Singh, Yogi Adityanath has also never showed his eagerness to hold CM’s position, but that could be deceptive as his supporters had organised protests in Gorakhpur, demanding the declaration of their MP as the party’s CM candidate in the state. It would be interesting to see what party decides about the future of role of this hardline leader.

Keshav Prasad Maurya: The state party unit chief and Phulpur MP, Keshav Prasad Maurya is said to be a strong contender for the CM post. Though the party leader does make unnecessary public appearances, choosing him as the CM, BJP can earn more support from the non-Yadav OBCs which the party has been missing since Kalyan Singh was sidelined.

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Manoj Sinha: The party MP from Ghazipur could also be considered for the CM designation. Sinha, an alumni of IT-Banaras Hindu University (now IIT-BHU), who is currently the Telecom and Minister of State for Railways is popular among the youths as well as middle-age and old-age people with his grass root level working style. However, in front of leaders like Rajnath Singh and Keshav Prasad Maurya, is BJP ready to promote him? Well! The answer would come soon.

Varun Gandhi: Gandhi family is synonymous to Congress, but Varun Gandhi has always supported the ideology of BJP and has been a strong pillar of the party in the state. He is the proverbial dark horse as he has been lying low and has chosen to shun any high profile campaign. Though the young leader of party has been sidelined in the campaigning of the assembly polls, the BJP can pick him as the replacement of “UP ka Ladka” Akhilesh Yadav.

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As the results of exit polls are not always accurate and can go wrong, the uncertainty remains as to who will form the government leave alone who will be the CM of the state. The first, of course, will be clear in just a few hours.