MLAs to elect UP CM, names doing rounds are media speculation: Venkaiah Naidu

Published - March 18, 2017 12:25 pm IST - Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s official residence at 5 Kalidas Marg in Lucknow. File photo

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s official residence at 5 Kalidas Marg in Lucknow. File photo

Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the next Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh will be elected by the legislators in a meeting later in the day and all reports in this regard are mere media speculation.

He was speaking to the media on his arrival at Lucknow airport on Saturday morning.

“The news reports about CM contenders and probables is media speculation. The final decision would be taken in the meeting,” he said.

Mr. Naidu and BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav will be the party’s central observers at the meeting, which will be held at 4 p.m. at Lok Bhawan.

BJP vice-president Om Mathur, State party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and other senior party leaders are also likely to attend the meeting.

The central observers will most likely inform the MLAs about the BJP top brass’ choice to be endorsed at the meeting on Saturday.

With the BJP leadership often springing a surprise with its choice of state leaders like Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana, Vijay Rupani in Gujarat and now Trivendra Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand, sources have said that a relatively lesser known leader cannot be ruled out.

Meanwhile, party leaders said that invitation for Sunday’s swearing-in ceremony has been sent to all BJP CMs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will also attend the ceremony.

According to the Raj Bhavan, the timing of the ceremony has been advanced, and it is now likely to be held at 2.15 p.m. on Sunday.

The BJP top brass has taken its time to decide on the U.P. Chief Minister after results were declared on March 11, 2017.

Sources said the party is extra cautious as it is returning to power in Uttar Pradesh after a 15-year hiatus.

Moreover, in view of Lok Sabha election in 2019, the BJP cannot afford to take any wrong decision, said some party insiders when asked about the delay in declaring the CM choice.

After a stupendous win in the Assembly election, the party can ill afford to lower its guard. Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha and is extremely important in the BJP’s scheme of things.

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