11 members of previous cabinet take oath as U'khand ministers along with Chief Minister

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BJP MLA Satpal Maharaj takes oath as the Uttarakhand cabinet minister in Dehradun on Sunday. [Photo/ANI]
BJP MLA Satpal Maharaj takes oath as the Uttarakhand cabinet minister in Dehradun on Sunday. [Photo/ANI]

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], July 4 (ANI): A total of 11 BJP legislators took oath as state cabinet ministers at a ceremony where BJP MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami was sworn in as the 11th chief minister of Uttarakhand at Raj Bhawan in Dehradun on Sunday.

The 11 BJP MLAs who took oath as cabinet ministers today were a part of the previous state cabinet and no new faces were inducted.

Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat, Bansidhar Bhagat, Yashpal Arya, Bishan Singh Chuphal, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Ganesh Joshi, Dhan Singh Rawat, Rekha Arya, and Yatishwaranand took oath as ministers in the new State Cabinet today.

Dhami was sworn in a day after being elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party.

The two-time MLA from Khatima constituency has never been a minister in the state government but Dhami became the youngest chief minister of Uttarakhand. He is the third chief minister of the state in nearly four months.

Dhami was on Saturday elected as the new leader of the BJP's legislature party in the state.

"A common party worker has been given a chance to serve the state. I am thankful to the party's high command," Dhami had told media persons here on Saturday.

The son of an ex-serviceman, Pushkar Singh Dhami was born in 1975 in Kanalichhina village in Pithoragarh district. He holds a law degree and served as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteer. He also had been a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Dhami served as the president of BJP Yuva Morcha, Uttarakhand twice between 2002 and 2008.

He is believed to be a protege of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Dhami replaced Tirath Singh Rawat who resigned on Friday. Dhami belongs to the Kumaun region. It is to be noted that the last two chief ministers were from the Garhwal region.

The change of guard came a day after Tirath Singh Rawat resigned from the post on Friday.

The consensus on the Uttarakhand Chief Minister was reached after the BJP legislature party meeting on Saturday afternoon in Dehradun.

Polls for the 70 member Uttarakhand Assembly are likely to take place in early 2022. The BJP swept the elections in 2017, winning 57 seats in the 70 member Assembly.

"Everyone is happy in Uttarakhand with this decision," said BJP MLA Dhan Singh Rawat today, when asked about MLAs displeasure over the party choosing Dhami as the next Chief Minister.

Sources stated that Uttarakhand Cabinet is expected to be expanded later.

Earlier, Uttarakhand BJP Chief Madan Kaushik, while speaking to ANI, denied the reports of rift within the party and said, "All is well within the party and everyone will attend the swearing-in."

Meanwhile, sources had earlier claimed that to adequately address the regional aspirations of Garhwal and Kumaon, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may appoint a deputy Chief Minister from the Garhwal region. (ANI)

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