Uttarakhand BJP meeting today after Tirath Singh Rawat's resignation
Uttarakhand BJP unit will hold its legislature party meeting on Saturday to decide on a new leader after Tirath Singh Rawat resigned as the hill state's chief minister. Uttarakhand BJP unit president Madan Kaushik said the legislative party will meet at 3pm and Narendra Singh Tomar will be the central observer at the meeting. “The new leader will be an MLA,” Kaushik said. State BJP media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan said all party MLAs have been asked to attend the meeting.
Tirath Singh Rawat resigned on Friday after just four months in office in the shortest term for a Uttarakhand CM. Rawat, who took over as the chief minister on March 10 this year, resigned days after he met the BJP central leadership, including Union home minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda. Rawat's resignation also comes ahead of the Uttarakhand assembly elections scheduled to be held in early 2022.
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Rawat resigned from his post on Friday night and submitted his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya hours after he addressed a press conference in the state capital of Dehradun. He said that the decision was right amid what he said was a "constitutional crisis" in the state. “I must express my gratitude to the party’s central leadership which has given many responsibilities from time to time. I have been MLC, MLA, MP, party state president and recently chief minister,” he said after submitting his resignation to the governor. "I thank my party president JP Nadda, home minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the core of my heart,” he added.
The senior BJP leader hinted that he resigned because the Election Commission was unlikely to hold by-elections due to Covid-19. A CM, if not a member of the assembly, needs to be elected within six months of assuming the post. However, a poll official indicated that no request was made to hold a bypoll and suggested there were precedents that may have permitted it.
Tirath Singh Rawat's stint was marred by controversy, including his decision to allow the Mahakumbh amid a surge in cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), and large-scale fraud in testing during the holy event. His comments on women’s clothing and that the waters of the Ganga could prevent infections also invited criticism.
Rawat, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Garhwal in 2019, was appointed Uttarakhand's ninth CM after Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned from the top job post amid infighting in the state unit. The BJP has 56 MLAs in the 70-member house.