The Lucknow district administration and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have finalised the date, time, and venue for the swearing-in ceremony of the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Preparations for the ceremony scheduled to be held around 2 pm on Sunday at Smriti Upvan near Aashiana residential colony on the fringes of the city are in full swing.
However, the party is yet to declare the name of the new chief minister. The newly-elected 312 new MLAs will meet in Lucknow on Saturday to propose names for the top post in the state and ratify one.
NAMES DOING THE ROUNDS
Sinha is the telecom minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. A two-time parliamentarian, the 57-year-old represents the Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat from eastern Uttar Pradesh. An upper caste Bhumihar leader, Sinha is considered close to Modi and manages the PM’s Varanasi parliamentary constituency.
Keshav Prasad Maurya
The 47-year-old MP from Phulpur comes from a backward community. He currently heads Uttar Pradesh BJP and was closely associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad during the Ram Temple movement in the 1990s. His appointment as the president of BJP’s state unit was aimed to garner support among the non-Yadav OBCs.
India’s home minister, Singh was the last BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh. The senior-most BJP politician from the state, the 65-year-old Thakur leader is considered close to the RSS. He has the experience of running a state government.
Sharma is a first-time member of the Lok Sabha from Gautam Buddha Nagar and is currently the tourism minister in Modi’s cabinet. A practising doctor, who owns the Kailash Hospital in Noida, Sharma has been a member of the UP legislative assembly. He is considered close to the RSS.
Gorakhpur MP and the firebrand BJP leader Adityanath’s name has been doing the rounds as the BJP’s CM face since the last one year. Adityanath is also the Mahant of Goraknath Mutt. The 45-year-old is a Thakur.
The 53-year-old leader was first elected the mayor of Lucknow in 2008. He teaches at the Lucknow University and is currently the national vice-president of the BJP. He is considered close to BJP president Amit Shah. That said, Modi is known to spring surprises. It is possible he might pick a candidate few would have considered a frontrunner.
He is the only MLA among all the contenders. The 57-year-old politician has won a Kanpur seat for 7 times in a row.
CHOICES FOR VENUE
Principal secretary Debashish Panda held a meeting on Friday with senior administration and civic officers to make necessary arrangements at the venue. Initially, three sites were suggested for the swearing in ceremony.
First was La Martiniere College ground where Akhilesh Yadav took the oath of office on March 15, 2012. The venue was dropped because of the ongoing board examinations.
The other was the KD Singh Babu Stadium where two former BJP CMs Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh took oath of office. But this too was ruled out because of ongoing Metro rail construction site that would have created traffic issues.
Then the administration considered Ramabai Maidan which was also cancelled because it was built by the Mayawati government. Finally, they settled on Smriti Upvan because it was developed by a previous BJP government in memory of Kargil martyrs.