BJP MP Tirath Singh Rawat will become the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, announced Trivendra Singh Rawat who stepped down from the post on Tuesday. He will take oath at 4 pm today. The decision was taken at a BJP legislature meeting at the party office in Dehradun. Tirath Singh Rawat, 56, is a BJP MP. He was the chief of the party in Uttarakhand in 2013-15 and also an MLA from the state in the past. He will be sworn in later today.
“I was Sangh pracharak and a minister under the leadership of Trivendra Singh Rawat. I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and the national president. I had never imagined this day,” Tirath Singh Rawat said.
The new CM was named after Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned from the chief ministerial post after reports of discontent against him in the party ranks surfaced. Rawat submitted his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya on Tuesday at the Raj Bhawan in Dehradun.
As per sources, Rawat can be given some other ‘responsibility’ out of Uttarakhand.
Before meeting Maurya, Rawat was closeted with his close associates at the chief minister’s residence including cabinet minister Madan Kaushik and state minister Dhan Singh Rawat, who has emerged as a frontrunner to succeed him.
Speaking to the media over the sudden change of guard, Rawat said that the onus for such a move “lies with Delhi”.
“I told you it was a collective decision of the party. You will have to go to Delhi to find that out. All decisions in the BJP are unanimous,” he said after submitting his resignation.
“The party gave me a golden opportunity to serve this State for four years. I had never thought that I would get such an opportunity. The party has now decided that the opportunity to serve as CM should be given to someone else now,” he added.
Rawat pointed out that on March 18, he would have completed four years in his tenure as CM and listed his schemes started by him, especially for women. It is believed that a BJP legislature party meeting on Wednesday at 10 am will select the new CM.
Governor Maurya also accepted Rawat’s resignation as CM and had asked him to continue as acting CM till a new face takes charge.
Ajay Bhatt and Anil Baluni, two senior leaders from the state who are members of Parliament, were being seen as two other strong contenders for the top post.
Sources also said the party might also bring in a deputy chief minister, who will be from the Kumaon region.
The central BJP leadership recently sent two observers, party vice president Raman Singh and general secretary Dushayant Kumar Gautam, to Uttarakhand to get feedback from the party’s core group in the state amid reports of discontent against the chief minister.
Earlier, BJP sources had confirmed that the party high command summoned Rawat to the national capital for “further discussions” after a meeting of the state BJP’s core committee presided over by central observers was held.
However, Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat claimed there was no leadership change likely in the state and Saturday’s meeting discussed events to mark the completion of the Rawat-led government’s four years in office.
The BJP swept the elections in 2017, winning 57 seats in the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly. Congress, on the other hand, won just 11 seats.