After Nitish Kumar has agreed to have a deputy chief minister from the Bhartiya Janata Party in his cabinet, the race for the coveted post has hotted up, with former Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain and Sushil Kumar Modi, president of the state BJP unit, vying for it.
Both Hussain and Modi, however, have been denying that they are lobbying for the job. The two have left for Patna to be present during the crucial meeting of the BJP legislators. Nanad Kishore Yadav, MLA from Patna East, is another BJP leader whose name is being mentioned for the post.
"There is no race. Whoever is elected the leader of the BJP legislative party would be the deputy chief minister," Prakash Javadekar told rediff.com.
Modi, who is known for his proximity to Arun Jaitley, is member of Parliament and would have to resign his seat in case he is elected for the post. Shahnawaz Hussain used the good offices of Ms Uma Bharti to press his case.
"Muslims have voted for both BJP and Janata Dal United and, hence, he stands a good chance. It would also send the right signals to Muslim voters that the Nitish Kumar government is secular in nature and actions. Yadav and Nitish Kumar both belong to backward class and, hence, Yadav may not be chosen. Sushil Kumar Modi being the party president of the Bihar unit has better chances then anyone else," said a BJP analyst.