The BJP’s legislators in Uttar Pradesh will decide on Saturday evening who will become the chief minister of India’s largest state, exactly a week after the party crushed its opponents in a landslide victory.
The frontrunners for the post are seen to be state party chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and telecom minister Manoj Sinha, though BJP president Amit Shah is known to spring a surprise with relatively lesser-known candidates. The party has said that the CM contender will be announced by 4pm on Saturday.
All arrangements have been made for grand swearing-in ceremony on Sunday at a sprawling complex on the outskirts of Lucknow. The event is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and a clutch of senior ministers.
Follow live updates from Uttar Pradesh as a new chief minister is announced:
6.50pm: PTI alert says Yogi Adityanath to be the next UP CM
6. 45pm: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan congratulates Yogi Adityanath for being named Uttar Pradesh’s CM
6.17pm: ANI clarifies that no official statement has been released yet naming Yogi Adityanath as UP CM
6.10pm: Reports say Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath to be CM. Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma to be deputies
5.43pm: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu arrives, meeting underway in Lucknow
5.28pm: Om Mathur and Keshav Prasad Maurya arrive for the meeting
5.21pm: BJP general secretary organisation Sunil Bansal arrives for the MLA meet along with party observer and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav
5. 20pm: ANI reports that Yogi Adityanath, Bhupendra Yadav, Om Mathur, KP Maurya and Sunil Bansal held a separate meeting ahead of the BJP MLAs meet
4.46pm: Yogi Adityanath’s name crops up as the front runner in the CM race, reports NDTV. Adityanath arrives in Lucknow
4.12pm: BJP MLAs arrive for the party’s legislature meet in Lucknow
3.59pm: Manoj Sinha to leave for Delhi at around 6pm
3.11pm: Manoj Sinha returns to Banaras, expected to leave for Lucknow
2.45pm: Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya – for whom Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh and union minister Uma Bharti are reportedly rooting for as the chief minister – is likely to be present at the BJP legislature party meeting in Lucknow later in the day.
2.30 pm: A huge crowd has gathered at Barhat where Union minister Manoj Sinha, a frontrunner for Uttar Pradesh chief minister, has been to. The minister is returning to Varanasi.
1.45 pm: Hundreds of BJP workers have gathered at various towns in Uttar Pradesh in the first formal celebration of a thumping victory in the assembly elections. “It’s the Modi wave that had got us victory in 2014 and again in 2017. This wave will continue endlessly,” said Ashok Singh, a supporter outside BJP office in Lucknow.
12.20 pm: BJP MP Yogi Adityanath called to Delhi to meet Amit Shah. Sources say it is because he “strongly objected” to the appointment of some MLAs in the state ministry particularly Radha Mohan Das Agarwal. It was to resolve this issue and other matters related to eastern UP that he was called, according to sources.
12:15 pm: BJP supporters have begun gathering outside BJP’s state headquarters in Lucknow.