All eyes are now on who the BJP elects as the new chief minister for Uttar Pradesh after the saffron party won a historic landslide in the just concluded assembly polls in the state.
Although names of Yogi Adityanath, Smriti Irani and Keshav Prasad Maurya are being talked about, sources close to the BJP say that none could make the cut for the top job.
The party leadership is likely to take a decision on Sunday after BJP parliamentary party has concluded its meeting in Delhi.
When asked, Adityanath, Irani and Maurya told ABP News that it was up to the newly elected legislators to choose the chief minister.
According to people close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, Manoj Sinha could emerge as the dark horse in the race for the chief minister.
One source told Janta Ka Reporter, “UP being a caste sensitive state, you would need someone who is neither going to antagonise Dalits in the state nor does he or she poses a challenge to the central leadership. Manoj Sinha fits the bill in both cases. He being a Bhoomihar, an upper caste, will be acceptable to all sections within the party.”
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.