Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat reaches Dehradun amid rumours of removal, discontent in leadership

Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat said no leadership change was likely in the state and Saturday’s meeting discussed events to mark the completion of four years of state the government

FP Staff March 09, 2021 15:40:44 IST
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat reaches Dehradun amid rumours of removal, discontent in leadership

File image of Trivendra Singh Rawat. Image courtesy: Twitter/@tsrawatbjp

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat reached Dehradun, a day after he met BJP chief JP Nadda in Delhi amid reports of discontent among a section of the party’s leaders. India Today report quoted sources who claimed that the Rawat is likely to step down as the Chief Minister after calling upon Governor Baby Rani Maurya at 4 pm on Tuesday. These developments, however, have not been officially confirmed either by the BJP or Rawat's office.

Rawat was summoned to New Delhi after an unscheduled Uttarakhand BJP core committee meet on Saturday presided over by the party’s national vice president and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, which sparked rumours of a possible change of guard in the state.

NDTV quoted reports to say he was rated "below average" by BJP MLAs, who felt that his leadership would bring down the party in the 2022 Uttarakhand polls.

Another reason behind uneasiness among a section of leaders with Rawat’s leadership is the issue of Cabinet expansion. While the state can have 12 ministers, as per rules, the Rawat-led Cabinet has seven Cabinet and two junior ministers with independent charge. The India Today report claimed the party may expand the Cabinet amid woes aired by some leaders.

Denying reports of crisis looming over the government, Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat told News18 there was no leadership change likely in the state and Saturday’s meeting discussed events to mark the completion of four years of state the government. Party spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan also expressed confidence about the state government completing its full term.

State tourism minister Satpal Maharaj, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, former state BJP chief and Lok Sabha member Ajay Bhatt, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, minister of state for higher education Dhan Singh Rawat and Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand Anil Baluni are among the contenders for the key post of the chief minister, according to a report by The Times of India.

Uttarakhand, where the next Assembly polls are slated to be held in February 2022, saw the BJP coming to power by bagging 57 of 70 seats in the 2017 state election.

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