Union Minister Manoj Sinha, who is seen among the strong contenders for the post of UP chief minister, today said he was “not in any race”.
The comment came a day after BJP President Amit Shah left everyone guessing with his remark that he has given the responsibility of choosing the CM to state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was considered among the front runners for the top post.
“Naa mujhe kisi race kaa pata hai, naa main kisi race main hun (neither do I know about any race (for UP CM), nor I am in any race,” Sinha told reporters outside Parliament.
Besides Maurya and Sinha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also seen a strong contender for the post.
After Shah’s comments, Maurya, the BJP’s OBC face in UP, had told reporters that how could he choose himself, when asked if he is a contender for the post.
With the BJP leadership often surprising people with its choice of lesser-known leaders, the same could not be ruled out in Uttar Pradesh too.
Newly elected UP BJP MLAs will meet in Lucknow tomorrow and are likely to elect their legislature party leader.
Party’s central observers – Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav – will be present at the meeting.
Modi had recently rewarded him by inducting him in his cabinet when he made him the Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Communications during the last cabinet rejig.
Another factor going in his favour is Sinha’s educational background as an IIT graduate from BHU.
Sinha was last elected for the third term to Lok Sabha in 2014 from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur constituency. Not too long ago, India Today magazine included him among the seven most honest members of Parliament.
(With PTI inputs)