RSS cadre to youngest Uttarakhand CM: Dhami’s rise through ranks
Pushkar Singh Dhami, who was born in September 1975, is from Kanalichina, a remote village of Pithoragarh district.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Pushkar Singh Dhami, a 45-year-old leader who has been chosen to become Uttarakhand’s next chief minister, is a two-time MLA who has not held any ministerial position in the state government so far.
Dhami, who was born in September 1975, is from Kanalichina, a remote village of Pithoragarh district. He has, however, mostly lived in the Khatima area of US Nagar after his parents moved there.
A postgraduate from Lucknow University, Dhami began his political career with student politics in the early 1990s. He has been associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and held various positions in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) between 1990 and 1999.
He later became the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha for two terms from 2002 to 2008. As a youth leader, he led many agitations and protests in the state.After the state was formed in 2000, he became officer on special duty (OSD) to then chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari in 2001-02.
The primary focus of Dhami’s politics has been ensuring employment for the youth in the state so that migration from the hill districts can be checked, according to political analysts.
In 2012, Dhami was elected as an MLA from Uttarakhand’s Khatima constituency, which he retained in the 2017 elections. He has also served as the state BJP vice-president twice, first from 2016 to 2020 and then from 2020 onwards.
GS Dhami, the CM-designate’s uncle and president of the Gaurav Senani Sangathan, Khatima, said: “It is a pride for us that we have been given a young and energetic CM. Under his leadership, the state, especially Kumaon, will touch a new height of development. We as ex-army men also feel proud that the BJP leadership has given a chance to an ex-army man’s son.”
Dhami’s father retired from the Indian Army as a subedar. During his school years, Dhami was also associated with activities of the National Cadet Corps and the National Service Scheme.
Nandan Kharayat, a senior leader of the BJP in Khatima, said: “Khatima is known as a land of martyrs of Uttarakhand agitation. The BJP leadership has given us a moment of pride by selecting a man from Khatima for the CM post. Khatima is a remote place and will shine now on the national map after this political development.”
Praveen Kabir, a social activist from Khatima, said: “Since Dhami is energetic and has a positive approach towards development and for the redressal of public grievances, I hope the entire state will have sustainable development under his leadership.”
Ramesh Bahuguna, a BJP leader from the Kumaon, said: “I was the district general secretary of the BJP in Almora when Pushkar Singh Dhami was the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. I remember how efficient his working style was then and how he interacted with the people, especially the youth.”
“He understands the problems of the workers and emphasises on finding solutions. He has a good rapport with everyone in both the Sangh Parivar and the BJP,” he said.
(With inputs from Mohan Rajput and Ankur Sharma)