India

Tirath Singh Rawat Sworn In As New Chief Minister Of Uttarakhand

Tirath Singh Rawat Sworn In As New Chief Minister Of Uttarakhand

Tirath Singh Rawat is a surprising, yet interesting choice for the post.

Highlights

  • The development comes just a year before the state election
  • Tirath Singh Rawat, 56, is a BJP MP from the Pauri constituency
  • He is a surprising, yet interesting choice for the post
Dehradun:

Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand today, with just a year to the election, a day after the resignation of Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Tirath Singh Rawat, 56, is a BJP MP from the Pauri constituency in the state. He was the chief of the party in Uttarakhand in 2013-15. He was picked over prominent candidates including Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Uttarakhand Minister Dhan Singh Rawat.

He is a surprising, yet interesting choice for the post. Sources say the decision was taken with the express approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What sets him apart is that he is not identified with any faction in the Uttarakhand BJP.

Shortly after Tirath Singh Rawat took oath, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Congratulations to Shri @TIRATHSRAWAT on taking oath as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He brings with him vast administrative and organisational experience. I am confident under his leadership the state will continue to scale new heights of progress. (sic)"

The BJP was faced with the challenge of balancing two groups; old-time BJP players were pitching for their candidate and imports from the Congress, like Harak Singh Rawat and Satpal Maharaj, were pushing for theirs,

The BJP's central observers told the leadership that any candidate from either faction would tip the balance and harm the party in the election.

It is because of this feud within that Trivendra Singh Rawat became unpopular and his position became untenable.

Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned after days of speculation about a leadership change in the state amid allegations of non-performance and resentment within the Uttarakhand BJP over his style of functioning. Yesterday, he was asked by reporters why he thought he was removed. "Go to Delhi to find out why," said Mr Rawat, who became the latest in Uttarakhand's long line of Chief Ministers who could not finish their term.

Tirath Singh Rawat has the task of leading the BJP into polls due in February with just about a year to turn things around. Like his predecessor, he too is low profile and not known to be a mass leader. A former member of the BJP's ideological mentor RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), he is believed to be more of an organization man.

"I was Sangh pracharak and a minister under the leadership of Trivendra Singh Rawat. I am grateful to the PM, Amit Shah and the national president. I had never imagined this day," Tirath Singh Rawat said.