Junior railway minister Manoj Sinha said on Friday afternoon that he wasn’t in the race to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, a day before the BJP’s pick for the state’s top job is to be announced.
Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, the three-time BJP MP who represents Ghazipur in the Lok Sabha said he didn’t know of a race for the CM’s position.
The BJP won a sweeping victory in India’s largest state with 312 seats in the 403-member house but is scheduled to meet on Saturday to decide on a chief minister. State party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya – also seen as a contender for the top job – has confirmed that a CM will be chosen at the party legislature party meeting.
Neither I am in the race (for UP CM) nor do I know of any such race: Manoj Sinha, Union Minister pic.twitter.com/wQROjVuXCe— ANI (@ANI_news) March 17, 2017
Known as a Bhumihar leader, Sinha was seen as the choice of many lawmakers because of his unassuming style and hard work – praised even by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also had deep ties to the Banaras Hindu University that falls within Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, having served as the student union president.