The Uttarakhand BJP legislature party on Saturday elected Khatima MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami as its new party leader following Tirath Singh Rawat’s resignation, paving the way for him to take over as the eleventh CM of Uttarakhand.
The 45-year-old MLA is all set to become youngest chief minister in the state’s history and will take oath as CM later on Saturday.
“Pushkar Singh Dhami will be the 11th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. It has been formally announced after the meeting of the legislature party meeting. Pushkar Singh Dhami will take oath as CM late in the evening, he will be the 11th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand,” PIB Dehradun tweeted.
The legislature party meeting happened at the BJP headquarters in Dehradun in the presence of central observer Narendra Tomar and BJP general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand Dushyant Kumar Gautam. All the MLAs were present at the meeting.
BJP leader Tirath Singh Rawat resigned as the state’s chief minister on Friday after holding the post for less than four months. He had replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat in March.
He is considered to be close to Maharashtra Governor and former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari. The two-time-MLA represents the Khatima constituency in Udham Singh Nagar district. Uttarakhand is due for its next Assembly election in less than a year.
Soon after being elected as the leader of the legislature party, Dhami thanked the party leadership for reposing faith in him and said that he will deal with the challenges lying ahead with everyone’s cooperation.
“My party has appointed a common worker, son of an ex-serviceman, who was born in Pithoragarh to serve the state. We’ll work together for people’s welfare. We accept the challenge of serving people with the help of others, in a short time span,” said Dhami on him being appointed as CM.
“We’re happy with this decision. We got a young leader. We’ll win 2022 Assembly elections with a better margin,” said BJP MP Ajay Bhatt after Dhami was appointed as Uttarakhand BJP legislature party leader.
“Had he (Tirath Singh Rawat) not resigned, it would have led to constitutional crisis. In some states, bypolls were delayed due to Covid. Circumstances have led to this situation. Neither was I part of the race earlier, nor today. The legislative party leader will be elected at the meeting today,” said former Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat earlier on Saturday when asked about his candidature for CM post again.
Ending days of speculation about a change of guard in the state, Rawat on Friday handed over his resignation letter to Governor Baby Rani Maurya past 11 pm, hours after returning from Delhi where he was summoned by the top BJP leadership on Wednesday.
Names of nearly half a dozen MLAs have been doing the rounds as probables for the top job.