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Suspense over name of UP Chief Minister continues, to be sworn in on Sunday

Even though the BJP has still not announced who is going to be the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, the new UP CM will be sworn in at 5 pm on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will attend the oath ceremony to be held at Smriti Upwan in state capital Lucknow.

The newly-elected 312 BJP MLAs are expected to meet on Saturday and elect their legislature party leader.

The names of probables for the top post doing the rounds in political circles include Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Telecom Manoj Sinha, and state BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Singh, a former UP chief minister, is probably the tallest BJP leader in the state, while Sinha, an upper caste Bhumihar, too has considerable administrative experience. However, their choice could antagonise lower caste voters.

Maurya, who had helped consolidate non-Yadav OBC votes in the party's favour, is said to be in the good books of BJP chief Amit Shah. Another probable is Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, who has strong links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.

Manoj Sinha, reports claim, could be the final choice as he has a proven administrative record by serving in two union ministries, is a BHU passout, is amiable to workers and colleagues and comes from Ghazipur, Poorvanchal -- an important region for the BJP.

The BJP, which won three-fourths majority in the 403-member House, is returning to power after 14 years. It has 325 seats, including its allies, in the 17th Vidhan Sabha.