Trivendra Singh Rawat, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, resigned today as the state’s ruling BJP chose to make a course correction a year before the elections, amid growing discontent within the party’s ranks. His departure was a foregone conclusion following his visit to Delhi yesterday, where he interacted with the BJP leaders.
Mr. Rawat, 60, handed in his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya only days before the end of his four-year tenure, becoming the latest in a long line of Uttarakhand Chief Ministers to step down early. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose him after the BJP won the Uttarakhand election in 2017, winning 57 seats in the 69-member legislature. Just 11 seats were won by Congress.
“I have been working in politics for a while now and my party gave me an opportunity to work as the state Chief Minister for four years- the golden years of my life. Despite coming from a rural background, I was entrusted with the responsibility to lead the state – that is only possible in a party like BJP,” said Mr. Rawat.
“Now that party has taken a collective decision to entrust the responsibility of state chief ministership to some other leader.”
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Dhan Singh Rawat, a state minister, is commonly expected to succeed as Chief Minister. Dhan Singh Rawat, who was in Garhwal, flew to Dehradun in a special helicopter this afternoon.
The Uttarakhand BJP legislature party will meet tomorrow to elect a new chief.
Trivendra Singh Rawat met with BJP leaders in Delhi multiple times, reportedly receiving feedback from party MLAs in Uttarakhand that the Chief Minister’s poor success would cost the party in the upcoming February elections.
The decision to replace him a year before elections are rare, as it is often interpreted as a motion of no confidence in the state by the party in power. It’s also a surprising move by the BJP to oust a Chief Minister due to poor results.
Former Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat criticized the BJP, saying that Mr. Rawat’s removal was an abdication of responsibility. Even Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which is attempting to establish itself in Uttarakhand, made a statement.
“By changing Chief Ministers, BJP has conceded even before 2022. In four years the BJP did not do a single thing on the basis of which it can seek votes. They are trying to hide their failures by changing the face. BJP should apologize to the people of Uttarakhand for wasting four years”. Manish Sisodia tweeted recently.