Shah to pick BJP CM nominees following observers’ report

New Delhi: BJP President Amit Shah was today authorised by the party’s Parliamentary Board to pick chief ministerial nominees for UP and Uttarakhand, and for Goa and Manipur, two states where it is working to cobble together a majority.

Parliamentary Board Secretary and Union Minister J P Nadda told reporters that party’s observers to these states will consult the MLAs there and report to Shah following which he will pick the chief ministerial candidates.

The meeting of the party’s highest body which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other members, was held amid Shah’s consultation with senior leaders of these states, especially Uttar Pradesh, to evolve a consensus over the new chief ministers.

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and party general secretary Bhupendra Yadav will be observers for UP, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and general secretary Saroj Pandey will head to Uttarakhand, and Union Minister Piyush Goyal and party vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe will go to Manipur, Nadda said.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is already in Goa and has announced that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will be its new chief minister.

The dates for party’s legislature meetings in respective states have not been decided yet.

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister Manoj Sinha are seen as contenders for the top job in the state.

A section of party leaders is also talking about eight-time MLA Suresh Khanna besides Home Minister Rajnath Singh, whose profile makes him a natural claimant for the job.

Asked if the BJP will form the government in Manipur, where the Congress has got more seats but the saffron party has been able to draw support from smaller parties, Nadda said observers will meet MLAs and a decision will be taken accordingly.

The Board also passed two resolutions, one paying homage to 12 CRPF personnel killed in a Naxal attack in Sukma and another thanking people for voting the party to victory in the state polls.

It also heaped praised on the central government for its various pro-poor policies while Modi praised Shah for leading the party to victory.