Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Old hand Tirath Singh Rawat is BJP’s choice for Uttarakhand’s Pauri seat
The BJP seems to have put its best foot forward by giving a ticket to one of its veteran leaders Tirath Singh Rawat from Uttarakhand’s Pauri Lok Sabha seat.
Rawat rose from the ranks as a student leader and was elected as the member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council in 1997 before being chosen as president of the UP Legislative Council. The 55-year-old served as the BJP’s Uttarakhand general secretary in 2007 and was made the BJP’s state unit chief in 2013.
Currently the BJP’s national secretary, Rawat was also the state’s first education minister in the interim government after its formation in 2000.
Rawat, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s former state unit chief, belongs to Sinro village in Pauri. Uttarakhand’s five Lok Sabha seats will vote on April 11, the first phase of polling. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Considered close to BJP veteran and sitting parliamentarian from Pauri BC Khanduri, Rawat was elected from the Chhobattakhal assembly seat in 2012. But the BJP denied him a ticket in the next assembly polls in 2017 and instead chose to field former Congress heavyweight Satpal Maharaj.
Known as a mild-mannered politician, the party’s decision left Rawat slighted and prompted him to openly protest against the high command and he even threatened to resign. The BJP’s central leadership pacified him soon by elevating him to the position of the party’s national secretary.
For a politician who has faced quite a few elections, Rawat is being seen as the BJP’s right choice for Pauri. BJP insiders, however, feel his low profile as a politician and lack of oratory skills are his weak points. Besides, he hardly matches the stature of the former chief minister and his mentor Khanduri, a state BJP leader said.
But the party brass ignored all such factors while giving Rawat a ticket from Pauri.
“For, they feel he will still sail through owing to the strong wave sweeping through the country in BJP’s favour after Prime Minister Narendra Modi allowed airstrikes on a Pakistan-based terrorist training camp,” another party leader explained.