With trends showing a clear majority for the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttarakhand, the saffron party has begun its hunt for next Chief Minister of the hill state.
The party has two former Chief Ministers, Ramesh Pokhriyal "Nishank” and Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, in its kitty but they are unlikely to make the cut.
Leading candidates for the top post are said to be Satpal Maharaj and Ajay Bhatt. Prakash Pant and Trivendra Singh Rawat are also said to be under consideration for the CM post by the top leadership of the party.
Among all them, Satpal Maharaj, 66, is said to be the leading contender to lead the BJP government. Maharaj, a former Congress strongman and a spiritual guru joined the BJP after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections following his differences with chief minister Harish Rawat.
Although, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy had been in earlier polls in other states, BJP may install a low-profile CM in Uttarakhand. Considering this trend, Prakash Pant and Trivendra Singh Rawat, relatively unknown names in national politics, could be Modi’s top choices.
The latest trends showed BJP leading on 51 seats while Congress is ahead on 13 constituencies in 70-member Assembly.