Tirath Singh Rawat resigns, Uttarakhand to get third Chief Minister in a year
New Delhi, July 2, 2021
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat met Governor Baby Rani Maurya in Dehradun late tonight and submitted his resignation, paving the way for the swearing-in of the third Chief Minister of the state in one year.
The BJP legislature party will meet at 3 p.m. on Saturday to choose a new leader for which sitting MLAs Satpal Maharaj and Dhan Singh Rawat are said to be frontrunners. The two MLAS were called to Delhi on Friday by the BJP central leadership.
According to reports, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will be the observer for the legislative party meeting to be held in Dehradun.
What is not clear is how this present imbroglio has precipitated when there must have been an inkling that Assembly bye-elections may not be possible less than 10 months before the state goes to the polls next year.
The scenario may have been in the spreadsheets when Rawat was sworn in as Chief Minister in March, with just a year to the Uttarakhand election, amid infighting fierce dissent against then Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Speculation about Rawat's imminent resignation had started last week with reports that the bye-election would not take place.
To continue as Chief Minister, Rawat, who is an MP, needed to be elected to the Uttarakhand Assembly by September 10.
However, the Election Commission, which has faced criticism for holding elections in March-April amid the monstrous Covid second wave, which was said to be one of the reasons for it flaring up, was not too keen.
Rawat has been in the news for the wrong reasons most notably being his comment on women wearing ripped jeans. He had also said the US, not Britain, ruled India for 200 years.
Rawat, who returned to Dehradun on Friday evening after three days in Delhi, where he had meetings with BJP chief J. P. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, addressed a press conference, where it was speculated he could announce his resignation. However, he only talked about his government's achievements in the state.