Tirath Singh Rawat’s 115-day short tenure as Uttarakhand Chief Minister will be remembered for his tragic picture of never being in control in the top chair, a cruel twist of fate and bizarre statements.
The tenure was so short that Rawat could not face the state assembly or shift to the CM residence in Dehradun. He had said the CM residence will function as a Covid Care Centre during the second Covid wave and continued to stay at his personal residence since taking oath on March 10. His exit came amidst buzz lately that he may finally shift there soon with coronavirus cases dipping, but it was not to be.
Rawat himself contracted Covid on March 22, just 12 days after he took oath, and the timing of the same proved to be politically disastrous for him. His report came positive just a day ahead of the Election Commission announcing on March 23 a by-poll in the Salt assembly constituency of Uttarakhand. This impending by-poll is what the BJP had in mind while choosing Rawat, an MP, as CM on March 10.
However, Rawat had to go into self-isolation for 14 days till the first week of April after contracting Covid while the last date of filing nominations for the Salt by-poll seat was March 30. On Saturday, Rawat described that as the reason why he could not contest that by-poll. He had tested negative on April 4, ahead of the by-poll which was conducted on April 17 and was ultimately won by the BJP comfortably.
Subsequently, two seats became vacant in April and June but since there was less than a year for the assembly's term to end by then, the EC was not bound to conduct by-polls on them as per the rules, sealing Rawat's chances of continuing as the CM. His brief tenure then got rocked last month by the expose on the widespread fake Covid testing scam during the Kumbh Mela held in the state in April. The religious congregation itself became a subject of criticism due to coronavirus wave.
Rawat's tenure will also be remembered in public discourse for his bizarre statements like commenting on women wearing ripped jeans, remarking that PM Narendra Modi will be considered an avatar of Lord Ram and Krishna in times to come and asking people why they do not produce more children to get free ration as per a government scheme.