Addressing a news conference soon after the inauguration of the two-day national executive by party president Amit Shah, in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said "a decision on whether to announce a face for UP polls, whom to project and when to do so will be taken in due course.

"Decisions like these are taken at the party’s Parliamentary Board meetings and not at the national executive."

Prasad was responding to queries about the possibility of declaring Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who hails from Chandauli in eastern UP and represents Lucknow in the Lok Sabha, as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the assembly elections scheduled early next year.

Speculations had been rife that the party may take a decision on declaring a Chief Ministerial candidate for UP, taking a cue from its recent success in Assam where it projected Sarbananda Sonowal and went on to form its own government in the state after getting a simple majority.

Names of Singh, HRD minister Smriti Irani and young MP Varun Gandhi had been doing the rounds. Prasad also expressed severe displeasure over suggestions that Rajnath Singh was being made a "scapegoat" by the party, which faces an uphill task of reviving itself in the country’s most populous state where it has been in a state of steady decline for more than a decade.

The BJP was in power in UP for a major part of the 1990s. It had achieved a full majority in the state assembly in the 1991 assembly polls and remained the single largest party for the next two elections.

"It is not proper to say that anybody is being made a scapegoat ... our target is to form a government in Uttar Pradesh.

"Who will be the face, when he will be named all these decisions will be taken by the Parliamentary Board," Prasad remarked.

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