While many MLAs have offered to resign for Dhami, no decision has yet been made on the CM face.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which swept home in Uttarakhand with a two-thirds majority, is likely to hold its legislative party meeting Monday to elect its new prime minister. The party is blowing hot and cold after the election results (announced on March 10) when its CM voter Pushkar Singh Dhami lost to the Khatima seat, while the party secured a majority in the 70-member assembly by winning 47 seats.
While many MLAs have offered to resign for Dhami, no decision has yet been made on the CM face. Dhami was in Delhi earlier this week meeting with senior party leaders and it is very likely that he will be repeated as the CM. If it happens, he will have to contest a by-election to be elected to the House within six months.
The BJP has made Rajnath Singh and Meenakshi Lekhi central observers for Uttarakhand and they will reach the state before the legislative party meeting. If all goes according to plan, the swearing-in ceremony could take place on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Interior Minister Amit Shah, BJP President JP Nadda and other senior party leaders.
While Dhami remains the frontrunner for the CM post, other leaders in the race include Chaubattakhal MLA Satpal Maharaj, Shrinagar MLA Dhan Singh Rawat and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni. One of the reasons the BJP chose to stick with Dhami is that the saffron party has already received a lot of flak for switching two chief ministers in quick succession during its last term in office, when it replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat with Tirat Singh Rawat and Tirath. by Dhami.
In the event that the BJP opts for a new face, it will have to look again at a caste and regional balance so as not to give rise to dissent. Since Ajay Bhatt, a Brahmin from Kumaon, has already been appointed as the Union Minister of State, a Thakur or a Rajput from Garhwal can be elected to the post of the Prime Minister in order to achieve much-needed caste and regional balance. If that happens, Satpal Maharaj or Dhan Singh Rawat, prominent Thakur leaders from Garhwal, could emerge as favourites.
The new names circulating as possible ministerial posts are those of Saurabh Bahuguna and Ritu Khanduri Bhushan. Saurabh Bahuguna who won against Sitarganj is the son of former Prime Minister Vijay Bahuguna and Ritu Khanduri Bhushan who won against Kotdwar is the daughter of BJP veteran and former Prime Minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri.
(with PTI inputs)
This post Uttarakhand: BJP Legislative Party May Select New CM on Monday; swearing in probably on Tuesday was original published at “https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/uttarakhand-bjp-legislature-party-may-select-new-cm-on-monday-swearing-in-likely-on-tuesday/2465378/”