Trivendra Singh Rawat, sworn in as the new Uttarakhand chief minister on Saturday, will face major challenges -- fast-tracking development, checking migration, and curbing corruption.
Rawat became the ninth CM of the hill state, and seventh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that won 57 of the 70 assembly seats.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised fast-paced development for Uttarakhand during election rallies. BJP president Amit Shah, in an attempt to turn the heat on the previous Congress government, said during the campaign that Uttarakhand lagged behind Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand though the three states were created in 2000. Now the pressure is on Rawat to walk the party leaders’ talk and put Uttarakhand on a fast lane of progress to catch up with other BJP- ruled states.
Here are the five major challenges before Rawat, a former RSS pracharak, considered close to BJP president Amit Shah.
BALANCING ACT: Keeping senior leaders in good stead is the foremost challenge. There were at least four other claimants to the CM’s post, including Satpal Maharaj who left Congress in 2014 to join BJP. Rawat will have to win their hearts in a bid to run government smoothly.
CLEAN IMAGE: Former CM Harish Rawat’s image got a major drubbing owing to the corruption charges. It is believed Congress lost polls due to corrupt reflection. The current CM will have to maintain a clean image in the years to come.
CHECKING BUREAUCRACY: The political class in the state feels a section of bureaucrats has “gone out of control”. Several babus with ‘clean image’ have taken postings out of the state. Rawat will have to make maximum use of the officials.
LIQUOR ISSUE: The previous government faced corruption charges after it implemented a tweaked excise policy to reportedly favour few brands. Having raised the voice for implementing blanket ban on liquor, Rawat will have to listen to the tourism industry before taking a call on changing the policy. Liquor is the major revenue grosser for the hill state.
CHECKING MIGRATION: Rawat hails from Pauri Garhwal district that has witnessed distress migration in the last several years. PM Modi had raised the issue during a poll rally. Rawat will need a strong policy to stop people from migrating to the plains and other states in search of employment.