DEHRADUN: The five-day-long political turmoil that led to Trivendra Singh Rawat resigning from the CM’s post on Tuesday ended with Pauri MP Tirath Singh Rawat taking over as the 10th CM of Uttarakhand. He was administered the oath of office by governor Baby Rani Maurya on Wednesday evening.
Earlier, amid intense speculations on who would be chosen by the BJP leadership for the top post, Rawat, 56, emerged as the dark horse. Other names in circulation for the CM’s chair were those of Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj and higher education minister Dhan Singh Rawat among others. Tirath Rawat, whose name was proposed by Trivendra Rawat at the legislative party meeting held at the BJP office in Balbir Road, is a close aide of former CM BC Khanduri and a former member of RSS and ABVP.
Regarded as a grassroot politician, he is said to have a good understanding of the party’s organisational set-up, which is why as per insiders he was chosen for the key post just as the BJP is gearing up for assembly polls to be held next year. Rawat has served as the first education minister of Uttarakhand, BJP state president, the party’s state general secretary as well as BJP’s national secretary. He was MLA from Chaubattakhal in Pauri from 2012 to 2017, and opted out of the race in favour of Satpal Maharaj in the 2017 assembly polls.
In 2019, he was fielded as BJP candidate from Pauri Lok Sabha seat against his mentor BC Khanduri’s son Manish Khanduri who was fighting on a Congress ticket. He won the seat with over 3 lakh votes, one of the biggest victory margins during the polls.
Soon after being named CM, Tirath Rawat said, “I am grateful to the Prime Minister and my party for giving me this opportunity. I will make my best efforts to live up to their expectations and continue the positive works done by Trivendra Singh Rawat in the last four years.”
PM Narendra Modi, while congratulating Tirath Rawat, said in a tweet: “He brings with him vast administrative and organisational experience. I am confident under his leadership, Uttarakhand will continue to scale new heights of progress.”
After being administered the oath of office, Tirath Rawat chaired a meeting of officials during which he reviewed preparations for the first shahi snan at the Haridwar Maha Kumbh on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri on Thursday.
In his first decision as CM, Tirath Rawat said, “Flower petals would be showered from a helicopter on devotees coming for the first shahi snan.” He also instructed officials to take all possible precautions in the conduct of the festival while ensuring that devotees as well as seers are not inconvenienced.