Uttarakhand CM resigns

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A year before Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, the BJP effected a change in leadership with the State Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat resigning on Tuesday afternoon. The ashen-faced Rawat, who had been summoned to the Capital a day in advance to be told to step down, told reporters in Dehradun that they will have to…

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A year before Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, the BJP effected a change in leadership with the State Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat resigning on Tuesday afternoon. The ashen-faced Rawat, who had been summoned to the Capital a day in advance to be told to step down, told reporters in Dehradun that they will have to “go to Delhi” if they want to know why he has been removed.

After submitting his resignation to the Governor Baby Rani Maurya, Rawat said, “It has been my honour to serve as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. I come from a small village. I am the son of a soldier. I could never believe that I would become Chief Minister one day. It was only possible in the BJP. I have served for four years. Now the party has taken a collective decision that I should give a chance to another person in my stead. I want to thank the people of the State and the affection they have showered on me for all the welfare schemes that we have launched for women, children. Women now have a right over the husband’s ancestral property. Whoever gets the charge has my best wishes.”

BJP meet to decide on successor

The BJP has called a meeting of its Legislature Party at 10 am on Wednesday to decide on Rawat’s successor although several names – Rawat’s Cabinet colleague Dhan Singh Rawat, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the heavyweight import from the Congress Satpal Maharaj, Nainital MP Ajay Bhatt, BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni – are already doing the rounds. The decision to remove Rawat is entirely an internal matter of the BJP and there is no threat to the Government given that the party has a two-third majority in the State Assembly.

Rawat had made himself unpopular by what his colleagues termed “autocratic” style of functioning where no MLA had a sway over the decision-making process. Further, the development agenda in the State had suffered in the last four years and his performance, from the party’s own assessment, had been underwhelming.

After persistent complaining by his detractors, the BJP dispatched former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and party Vice President Raman Singh and senior leader Dushyant Gautam to Dehradun last Saturday. While the Assembly is in session, the central observers held long parleys with individual MLAs to decide on the future course of action. The message from the legislators was, “If Rawat continues, the BJP will lose the next election.”

The central observers submitted their report to the party President J. P. Nadda who then summoned Rawat and read him the riot act. Home Minister Amit Shah also met Rawat.

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