BJP to elect new Maharashtra chief minister Tuesday

Mumbai: The stage is set for the election of the new chief minister of Maharashtra by the BJP here Tuesday.

A meeting of the newly-elected 121 legislators of the Bharatiya Janata party has been scheduled Tuesday afternoon to elect their new leader who would be the next chief minister.

Govind M. Rathod, a newly elected BJP legislator from Mudkhed in Nanded district, died Monday following a heart attack on a train en route to Mumbai.

This has reduced the BJP strength from 122 to 121, plus one pre-poll ally. But it emerged as the single-largest party in the Oct 15 assembly elections.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, senior party leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy, O.P. Mathur and J.P. Nadda will oversee the election of the new BJP Legislature Party leader.

The front-runners are state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis, 44, and union Minister for Transport Nitin Gadkari, 57.

The new chief minister of the BJP's first independent government of the state is likely to be sworn in by the month-end, most likely Oct 31, in a mega-public ceremony at the Wankhede Stadium, according to current indications.

Over 30,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, union ministers, several chief ministers, central party leaders and others VIPs and guests, are expected to witness the oath-taking ceremony.

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