Uttarakhand BJP to elect new chief minister by evening today


Uttarakhand will get its third chief minister in four months on Saturday evening after Tirath Singh Rawat resigned from the post on Friday night.

To elect the new chief minister of Uttarakhand, the BJP legislature party meeting is scheduled at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the party office in Dehradun. There is strong buzz in the party that this time chief minister will be most likely to be elected from MLAs only as the state assembly election is due in next eight months.

“No one knows who will be elected the new chief minister of Uttarakhand, but to avoid any constitutional crisis, the leadership might allow an MLA for the post,” a Uttarakhand BJP leader said.

Rawat on Friday late evening submitted his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya. Rawat, a Lok Sabha member from Garhwal, and as per the rules, needs to be sworn in as an elected MLA within six months of taking over as the chief minister. Rawat was supposed to get himself elected to the state Assembly before September 10 to remain in office, which could not happen due to provision of Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Uttarakhand BJP chief Madan Kaushik said, “BJP legislature party meet will be held at party headquarters in state capital at 3 p.m. today and central observer Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, state unit in-charge and national general secretary, Dushyant Gautam Kaushik will be present in the meeting.”

It is learnt that after the BJP legislature party meeting, the new chief minister will meet the governor and will stake claim to form a new government in the state.

“Timing of swearing in will be scheduled at the earliest after staking claim to form the government,” a party insider said. Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn in as Uttarakhand’s CM on March 10 replacing Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Sources said that Tirath Singh Rawat, who was in Delhi till Friday evening, where he had met BJP chief J.P. Nadda twice in three days, was asked by the party leadership to resign to avoid a constitutional crisis.

Sources said that on Wednesday night at a meeting at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence, Nadda had explained to Rawat about exception provided under Section 151 of Act for not holding by-elections — if the remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is less than a year or if the Election Commission, in consultation with the Centre, certifies that it is difficult to hold the by-election within the said period.

On Friday afternoon, Rawat once again met Nadda and left for Denhradun to submit his resignation to the governor.