The Samajwadi Party on Monday said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will retain his post if the party is re-elected to power in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, IANS reported. In a press conference, party vice president Kironmoy Nanda said the decision had Mulayam Singh Yadav's approval.

This comes only days after Malayam Singh Yadav said party legislators would choose their next chief minister. On October 14, Akhilesh Yadav had said that he might have to start his campaign for the upcoming state elections on his own.

On the same day, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that it will not project a chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. BJP state unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya told PTI: “It is clear policy of our party that we will contest the Assembly elections without projecting anyone as our CM candidate...We fought Haryana and Jharkhand without projecting any CM candidate and won.”

He added that the party’s central parliamentary board will choose the chief minister after the election. Maurya, however, made it clear that the BJP will never accept shate CHief Minister Akhilesh Yadav if he quits the Samajwadi Party in the wake of an alleged feud in the Yadav family. Asked about the party’s chances of winning the elections, Maurya said the BJP will secure more than 300 seats in the 403-seat Assembly.

Maurya accused Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati of degrading religious leaders and added that voters will show her the result of doing so in the upcoming polls. Last week, Mayawati had accused BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers of posing as Buddhist monks. "Her mental balance appears a little disturbed as a large number of her partymen have deserted her. By making this statement, she has degraded religious leaders and Lord Buddha as well and she will see its result through the EVMs," said Maurya.

On Monday, reports surfaced suggesting that former Congress chief for the state, Rita Bahuguna, may join the saffron party. Bahuguna has reportedly met BJP president Amit Shah, according to The Financial Express. However, the senior leader has yet to confirm the reports.