“I have already mentioned that I am not in the Maharashtra CM race,” said Nitin Gadkari.

The other potential candidate who is also said to be the frontrunner in the race of Maharashtra CM is Devendra Fadnavis.

However, When asked about who would be the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra, he said, "There are no front runners and back runners. In BJP, it is the Legislature Party and Parliamentary Board which decide."   

In the Maharashtra Assembly, Fadnavis is the BJP's young mascot, the most vociferous and uncompromising voice in the Opposition benches. Fadnavis won the  Nagpur South assembly seat.

He has been raising his voice against Congress-NCP government on various issues like the irrigation scam, the Adarsh scam and CCTV cameras not being installed in Mumbai post the terror attacks in November 2008.

As per reports, the another bright contestant turning out to be the dark horse for the CM race is Pankaja Munde daughter of late former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Gopinath Munde.

Pankaja has bagged the Parli seat by defeating her estrangement cousin Dhananjay Munde who contested on NCP ticket.

In an interview to a TV channel, Pankaja had said that the 'public sentiment' was for her to occupy the coveted post.

"I have never staked claim to Chief Ministership. I had said the work I will do will contribute to the making of a BJP Chief Minister in Maharashtra and I have done that,"

"But, there was the feeling among people that Munde Saheb should become the CM ... probably I also have his (Munde) blessings... and the public sentiment is also the same, but I have never claimed that I should be the CM," she said.

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