Uttarakhand CM back from Delhi, buzz around cabinet expansion grows

Published on Feb 24, 2021 06:46 PM IST

CM Rawat met home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other senior party leaders, during his Delhi visit.

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. (Photo @tsrawatbjp)
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. (Photo @tsrawatbjp)
By, Hindustan Times, Dehradun

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat discussed the cabinet expansion during his Delhi visit and may undertake the exercise after the state budget session, said a senior BJP leader familiar with the developments. There is just a year’s time left for the next state polls.

"The CM has likely discussed some names for the expansion in cabinet which have been approved by the central leadership. The move will be likely taken by the CM after the upcoming budget session in Assembly from March 1-9," said the BJP leader quoted above who did not wish to be named.

CM Rawat met home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other senior party leaders, during his Delhi visit.

However, the BJP state leadership said that the move is yet to be discussed in the state.

BJP state president, Bansidhar Bhagat, said, "The development is not in my knowledge as I haven't spoken to the CM after his return from Delhi."

There are three vacancies in the cabinet. Other than the CM, there are six cabinet ministers: Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal, Madan Kaushik, Yashpal Arya, Harak Singh Rawat and Arvind Pandey while two ministers of state with independent charge, Rekha Arya and Dhan Singh Rawat.

The Opposition Congress termed the exercise a “formality”, stressing it will have no bearing on governance with hardly 12 months left for the elections. Congress state general secretary Vijay Saraswat said that the cabinet expansion will be "of no meaning before the polls”.

Political expert SMA Kazmi said, "Though expanding the cabinet just before the elections has got no logic but it is a tactic to pacify those MLAs who have been hoping to become ministers."

He also said that it will have no political gains for the BJP but will result in resentment within the party.

"If the cabinet is expanded then the ministers will practically get a tenure of just 6-7 months as the polls will be held in February with the code of conduct in place in January. No work can be done in such a short period. It will only lead to resentment among those who will not make the cut," said Kazmi.

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