Uttar Pradesh Labour Minister Swami Prasad Maurya on Sunday, 20 June, said that the chief ministerial candidate for the state will be chosen after the 2022 Assembly elections in UP.
The UP Cabinet minister had switched parties, leaving the BSP for the BJP, a few years ago, and has been serving as the minister for labour, employment and coordination in CM Adityanath's government since 2017.
"When 2022 comes, we will win the election. After that whoever is sent by the central leadership will be welcome," Maurya was quoted as saying, as per an NDTV report.
The BJP had fought the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh without a chief ministerial face as well, putting up Yogi Adityanath for the position following its victory in the polls.
Maurya's statement comes despite recent indications from party sources who confirmed Adityanath's candidature for the post of chief minister in upcoming elections, amid speculation of the BJP top brass's discontentment with the CM over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Adityanath-led government had recently come under fire for its inefficiency in the management of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lack of coordination between his government and BJP MLAs and MPs.
Speculations of a rift between the UP CM and the BJP top brass over these matters had been followed by a slew of high-level meetings between the two in Delhi and Lucknow, following which the party decided to continue with incumbent Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as its face for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due early next year.
(With inputs from NDTV)