‘Pressure’ on Uttarakhand CM to axe three ministers
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat may be forced to rejig his cabinet soon as he is “under pressure” from the BJP brass to drop three ministers over non-performance, party insiders said on Sundaydehradun Updated: Jan 21, 2018 20:26 IST
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat may be forced to rejig his cabinet soon as he is “under pressure” from the BJP brass to drop three ministers over non-performance, party insiders said on Sunday.
The grapevine has it that the BJP central leadership is also unhappy with the cabinet ministers making frequent trips to Delhi. BJP insiders, however, did not identify which of the three ministers of the 10-member cabinet could be dropped.
An insider, however, said the chief minister “may be” forced to drop his three ministers, which would necessitate a cabinet rejig.
It has been due since he took charge on March 18 last year following the BJP’s landslide win in the assembly elections.
The CM’s office though sought to scotch the rumours doing the rounds within the BJP about a possible cabinet rejig. It also refuted reports about the possibility that three ministers could be dropped.
“We have no information about a cabinet rejig,” said the chief minister’s media-coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat.
He said he had no idea that three ministers could be dropped on the ground of inefficiency.
“All ministers are carrying out their duties satisfactorily,” he said, adding that the chief minister had, however, directed his ministers to speed up development works.
“They have been asked to speed up works because the chief minister wants that the development should be visible on the ground ahead of the next (2019) Lok Sabha election,” Darshan Singh said.
BJP state unit chief Ajay Bhatt expressed ignorance about a possible cabinet rejig or the possibility of three ministers being replaced.
“We have no knowledge about a cabinet rejig or the ministers’ reported underperformance…. The chief minister and I have not discussed those issues,” he said.
Bhatt though did not rule out the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle being carried out ahead of the next Lok Sabha elections.
“A cabinet expansion is due and could be carried out this year itself,” he said. Bhatt said carrying out a cabinet expansion or a reshuffle was only the CM’s constitutional prerogative.
BJP insiders said Rawat was under pressure to carry out a cabinet rejig with most party legislators vying with one another for the ministerial berths.
“Discontent is growing among many senior legislators who were left out in the race for the ministerial positions when the Rawat Cabinet was constituted last year,” said one of the state BJP’s senior office bearers.