New CM Tirath Singh Rawat participating in hawan ceremony before taking charge of his office at the secretariat here on Sunday.(HT Photo)
New CM Tirath Singh Rawat participating in hawan ceremony before taking charge of his office at the secretariat here on Sunday.(HT Photo)

New Uttarakhand CM to review some big decisions taken by Trivendra Singh Rawat

  • Tirath Singh Rawat, when he took charge, said he will take ahead the work done by the Trivendra Singh Rawat government, but it has become clear that he has decided to review and likely reverse some of the decisions his predecessor made.
By Neeraj Santoshi | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Dehradun
PUBLISHED ON MAR 14, 2021 04:20 PM IST

Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat has decided to review and possibly reverse some major decisions taken by his predecessor, Trivendra Singh Rawat’s government. Apart from making it clear that there will be no mandatory Covid test for attending Haridwar Mahakumbh, during his visit to the sacred city, Rawat has also hinted that decisions like the formation of Char Dham Devasthanam Board and making Gairsain the third administrative division of the state will be reviewed in the light of people's "sentiments".

Rawat hinted at this at his Dehradun residence when some reporters asked him questions regarding these decisions taken by his predecessor. “What is most important is what people want, what are their sentiments regarding these issues. We will talk to people on these issues,” he said.

All these three decisions have been opposed by the concerned people, who have expressed their serious misgivings. Char Dham priests have been agitating since last year, alleging that the government's takeover of the Char Dham and 51 temples was not right and it will side-line priests from the management of these shrines, which have been managed for centuries by priests and seers.

Following the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Centre and the state government, making a Covid-negative certificate mandatory for attending Mahakumbh, local traders, priests and Akhada seers were not happy with the strict restrictions. They wanted easing of the restrictions so that mahakumbh can be held in its fullest grandeur.

And in case of the Gairsain decision, which triggered the recent political upheaval in the state, it was not just the BJP MLAs and ministers who claimed they were not consulted, but people in many of the districts included in the new administrative division were unhappy with the decision.

Tirath Singh Rawat, when he took charge, said he will take ahead the work done by the Trivendra Singh Rawat government, but it has become clear that he has decided to review and likely reverse some of the decisions, aiming to check the resentment brewing among the people.

Rawat has also decided to cancel the much-hyped events to commemorate completion of four years of BJP government in the state.

On Sunday, the new chief minister also took charge of his office at the secretariat in Dehradun after ritual prayers and a ‘hawan’ ceremony. After that he left for Haridwar to meet the officials and review the mahakumbh preparations.

The new CM’s focus on mahakumbh is quite clear, given his two visits to the sacred city after taking charge in the last four days. On Thursday, the day of his ascension, Rawat was in Haridwar along with his family members, showering flowers on pilgrims and ascetics and meeting Akhada seers, seeking their blessings. He directed officials that there should be no unnecessary restrictions on pilgrims and they shouldn’t face any inconvenience.

Also Read: Uttarakhand: Tirath Singh Rawat cancels events to mark BJP govt's 4 yrs in power

It is being seen as Rawat’s effort to placate those who have been unhappy with various decisions related to Kumbh management, taken by his predecessor. Many people are upset that the Mahakumbh has been shortened this time and strict restrictions have been put in place.

Kumbh Mela additional officer Lalit Narayan Mishra said after the CM’s announcement, they are waiting for the official communique. He said in line with CM’s focus on Mahakumbh, they have taken adequate measures like sanitisation, availability of face masks and ensuring social distancing norms.

“The directives and minutes that will come from the government after CM’s announcement regarding Covid report waiver, will be adhered to. As of now, our focus is on the next Shahi Snan (ritualistic royal bath) which falls in mid-April. We are focussing on all possible arrangements to ensure a safer and grand mahakumbh," said Mishra.

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