THE NEXT CM? JP NADDA, 56 (BJP)
Seen as the strongest candidate for the post of chief minister in this election, Jagat Prakash Nadda’s rise has been meteoric in the BJP. Nadda started out as a student leader in 1975. He entered state politics in 1993 by winning the assembly election from his hometown of Bilaspur after which he was appointed leader of opposition. Nadda was re-elected in 1998 and became a minister in the Prem Kumar Dhumal government. After he fell out with Dhumal, Nadda quit state politics and was appointed the BJP’S national general secretary. He is close to BJP president Amit Shah.