Uttarakhand CM leaves for Delhi amid speculation of leadership change
(Sourced from PTI)
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat left for Delhi on Monday amid growing speculation about a leadership change in the state. The Chief Minister's office in Dehradun confirmed his departure but said the visit was routine in nature. BJP high command summoned Rawat for further discussions after a meeting of the state BJP's core committee presided over by central observers was held on Saturday.
Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat claimed there was no leadership change and Saturday's meeting discussed events to mark the Rawat-led government's four years in office. Rawat had to attend several programs in Gairsain and Dehradun on Monday that were canceled following the summons from Delhi.
The speculations about a leadership change gained momentum after BJP national vice president Raman Singh and state party in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam arrived in Dehradun on Saturday to preside over an unscheduled meeting of the state party's group. The meeting was held when most party MLAs and ministers including the chief minister were in Gairsain to attend the budget session of the state assembly.
The budget session was brought to an abrupt end after passing the state's budget for 2021-22 and everyone was called to Dehradun for the core committee meeting. Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Bansal, former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, Nainital MP Ajay Bhatt, cabinet minister Madan Kaushik, state BJP general secretary Ajeya Kumar among others attended the meeting which went on for over two hours.
Raman Singh, the former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, talked separately to each member of the core group to get their feedback. He also went to the Chief Minister's official residence where around 40 party MLAs had gathered and later visited the RSS office. Another member and Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank too met Raman Singh at the Jolly Grant Airport late in the evening.
Bhagat said, "The core group meeting discussed celebrations to be held in 70 assembly constituencies in the state on March 18 to mark the completion of the BJP government's four years in office. He also refuted reports that there was resentment among party legislators."