The Congress decision to announce its chief ministerial face in Uttar Pradesh two days before the BJP’s state executive meet in Jhansi has brought the spotlight on the still-undecided saffron party.
The Congress move means that barring the BJP all the three major stakeholders in the most populous state have made their choices clear, highlighting the BJP’s dilemma.
“We have a problem of plenty,” a BJP leader said indicating the party’s concern at its inability to forge a consensus on any one name. The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that have alternately ruled UP for well over a decade are clear on their chief ministerial candidates. While the SP is relying on the popular appeal of Akhilesh Yadav, an OBC, the BSP is going to stick to its gutsy woman chief Mayawati, a Dalit.
Union minister Mahesh Sharma had admitted some time back that the BJP was considering three chief ministerial faces.
However, there is no immediate indication from the BJP if the Congress move will expedite its decision. The state’s BJP in-charge Om Mathur is against projecting a CM face though he claims he will toe the “party line.” “Whether and when (decision on CM face) are yet to be decided. But if we come up with a name it will be from UP and that of a party cadre,” a BJP source said.