DEHRADUN: After four days of intense political parleys, Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat tendered his resignation to governor Baby Rani Maurya at Raj Bhavan in Dehradun on Tuesday afternoon. A BJP legislative party meeting has been called on Wednesday morning to decide the name of the new CM. An official notification issued later in the day by chief secretary Om Prakash said that the governor has accepted the resignation of the CM and his cabinet and they have been asked to look after the portfolios held by them till the time a new government is formed.
Soon after meeting the governor, Rawat said he was thankful to the party for giving him a chance to be at the helm for four years. “I come from a very humble background and it is only a party like BJP which gives a chance to a common man to head the state. The party has now decided that it needs a new face and, therefore, I am stepping down. Our government has initiated a number of development schemes and the people of the state will definitely get the benefits. My successor will take these projects ahead and I would like to wish him good luck for his tenure,” he added.
Rawat further said he had “never thought of getting so much respect, love and affection from the party and people alike.” He added: “My tenure is just nine days short of four years and I will term it as the golden phase of my political career.” Asked about the reasons which led to his resignation, Rawat said, “The decision was taken in Delhi and I accepted the party’s directions.”
Earlier, Rawat, accompanied by state party president Bansidhar Bhagat and a few MLAs like higher education minister Dhan Singh Rawat and Dehradun Cantt MLA Harbans Kapoor, had gone to Raj Bhavan through the rear gate and met the governor.
With Rawat’s exit, a guessing game began on possible candidates for the CM’s chair. Among the names in speculation for the top post are those of higher education minister Dhan Singh Rawat, regarded as Trivendra Rawat’s protege, Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni, tourism minister Satpal Maharaj, RSS general secretary Suresh Bhatt, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Lok Sabha MP Ajay Bhatt and Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
BJP national vice-president and former Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, appointed as observer by the party along with state in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam, was expected to reach Dehradun late on Tuesday to attend the legislative party meeting scheduled for Wednesday. The party’s Lok Sabha MPs are also likely to attend the meeting.
Speculations of change of guard started with the unexpected and urgent core committee meeting of BJP called on Saturday evening in which Raman Singh and Dushyant Kumar Gautam took feedback from party MLAs on the state government’s functioning. Later, they submitted their report to the central leadership. Rawat was summoned to Delhi on Monday morning and during the course of the day had a video-conferencing with PM Narendra Modi and later met party president JP Nadda and home minister Amit Shah.
Meanwhile, commenting on the CM’s resignation, Dushyant Kumar Gautam said, “Trivendra Singh Rawat is an asset to the party which needs him at the national level and this is why he has been asked to resign as CM so that he can help the organisation in poll-bound states. There is no other reason for his resignation.”