'How Can I Pick My Own Name': Keshav Prasad Maurya Out of Reckoning in UP?
UP BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was considered one of the frontrunners for the post of Chief Minister, may be out of the reckoning. The party’s national president, Amit Shah, on Thursday said he had given Maurya the responsibility of “selecting the next Chief Minister”.
UP BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya flashes victory sign as he celebrates the party’s victory in the Assembly elections, in Lucknow on March 11. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: UP BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was considered one of the frontrunners for the post of Chief Minister, may be out of the reckoning. The party’s national president, Amit Shah, on Thursday said he had given Maurya the responsibility of “selecting the next Chief Minister”.
Speaking to reporters later, Maurya himself ruled out his chances of becoming CM. “Mere paas toh naam tay karne ka zimma hai. Apna naam koi kaise tay karega? (My responsibility is to zero in on the next name. How can anyone pick their own name?)”
Maurya is like Prime Minister Narendra Modi in more ways than one. A dedicated RSS worker who rose through ranks, sold tea at his father’s tea stall as a child and hails from an OBC background. At just 47, Maurya has emerged as one of the tallest leaders in the UP BJP in a short amount of time. He contested the UP Assembly polls three times — 2002, 2007 and 2012 — before being elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014 from the Phulpur constituency, a seat once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru.
In April last year, he was appointed as UP BJP president. Maurya’s OBC status made him a strong contender for the top job in UP. Maurya is also a favourite of the Sangh Parivar owing to his background as a ground-level RSS worker. Much of the credit for BJP’s sweep in UP, less than a year after his elevation as UP BJP chief, goes to Maurya as well. Questions were raised, however, about Maurya’s criminal record. In his 2014 election affidavit, Maurya had declared that he had 11 criminal cases against him.
With Maurya effectively out of the race, the spotlight now shifts to other contenders, including Union Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha and Lucknow mayor Dinesh Sharma. The most being discussed, however, is that of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Home Minister’s name was tossed around amid reports that his security team had visited 5, Kalidas Marg, the official residence of the UP Chief Minister in Lucknow.
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