Pushkar Singh Dhami to become Uttarakhand's new Chief Minister
Pushkar Singh Dhami, 45, will become the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative party decided in a meeting this afternoon. The development comes just one day after Tirat Singh Rawat resigned from the top job within four months of taking charge. Uttarakhand is set to hold Assembly elections in less than a year.
Who is Pushkar Singh Dhami?
Born in 1975 in Pithoragarh district, Dhami completed his LLB from the Lucknow University in 2002. He is a two-time MLA from from Khatima constituency in the northern state's Kumaon region. He had earlier served as an Officer on Special Duty to former Uttarakhand CM Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. The leader is considered close to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, according to reports.
'Party has given huge task to a humble worker'
"The party has given a humble worker a huge task. I want to thank the party, our leaders, especially PM Modi," Dhami reportedly said today after the meeting concluded. "This will be a huge challenge for me but I will work with my party and fulfill all promises. I will continue to carry forward my party's good work," he added.
Tirath Rawat became CM in March, resigned yesterday
Tirath Rawat was sworn-in as the CM of Uttarakhand in March as former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat quit from the post after facing dissent in the party. Rawat, earlier a Member of Parliament, was required to win an Assembly seat by September 10 to retain the job. However, the Election Commission is unlikely to hold a bye-poll, particularly because elections are just months away.
'I felt it was right for me to resign'
"Given the constitutional crisis, I felt it was right for me to resign. Bye-polls could not be held because of COVID-19," Rawat said in a brief statement on Friday. The Election Commission had earlier faced severe criticism for holding Assembly elections amid rising coronavirus cases.
Tirath Rawat had a controversial stint as CM
Rawat's rather short stint as the CM was marred by controversies. Soon after taking charge, he had commented against women wearing ripped jeans, facing severe backlash from the public and leaders of Opposition. His handling of the Kumbh Mela amid the COVID-19 second wave also invited backlash. Party sources have been quoted as saying that Rawat failed to reduce infighting within the Uttarakhand BJP.
Polls in Uttarakhand due in February 2022
Trivendra Rawat was made the CM after the BJP swept the last Assembly elections in 2017. It had won as many as 57 seats in the 69-seat Assembly, while the rival Congress had managed to win just 11. The next polls in Uttarakhand are due to be held in less than a year, i.e., February 2022.Share this timeline