The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday declared Trivendra Singh Rawat as its candidate for the post of the chief minister of Uttarakhand where the saffron outfit swept back to power after five years with a landslide majority.
BJP leaders Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda, Shyam Jaju, Saroj Pandey and observer Narendra Singh Tomar announced Rawat as its legislative party leader, effectively making him the next chief minister of the state.
The BJP won 57 of the hill state’s 70-member state assembly to wrest power from the Congress, which managed to win only 11. In all the previous three elections, the victory margin between the two traditional rivals was minimal. In 2007, the BJP had formed the government with only 36 seats.
This time, it was a historic victory for the BJP that left the Congress gasping for breath.
A Thakur leader Rawat started his political career as a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) pracharak. The 56-year-old is said to be close to BJP chief Amit Shah and was one of the three deputies attached to him in Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Party insiders said Rawat pipped Pant for the post of the chief minister because of his long association with the RSS. “Besides, he also got the benefit of his proximity to party chief Shah,” a senior party leader said.
The swearing-in ceremony will take place tomorrow for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are expected, along with select ministers from the Union government and central office bearers.
According to IANS, security arrangements are being made at the Parade Grounds, keeping in mind the VVIPs who will attend the event. Senior police and district officials along with some BJP legislators have been visiting the venue to oversee arrangements for the Saturday event.