BJP leader Pushkar Singh Dhami was on Sunday sworn-in as the 11th Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Governor Baby Rani Maurya administered the oath to him and 11 others ministers at a function in Raj Bhavan in Dehradun.
The new ministers are Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat, Bansidhar Bhagat, Yashpal Arya, Bishan Singh Chupal, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Ganesh Joshi, Dhan Singh Rawat, Rekha Arya, and Yatishwaranand. All were also part of the previous Tirath Singh Rawat government.
As per constitutional provisions, the Uttarakhand cabinet can have maximum 12 ministers including the Chief Minister.
It is learnt that Dhami is considered close to former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and union defence minister Rajnath Singh in national politics. A source in Uttarakhand BJP said that Dhami has close association with Koshiyari and served as officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the former chief minister.
"He has a close relationship with the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also," he said.
The 45-year-old is a two-time MLA from Khatima constituency. Saffron camp in Uttarakhand believes that the move will strengthen party in the Kumaon region and among youths. "Dhamiji represents both -- youth and the Kumaon region. Under him leadership vacuum from Kumaon region will be filled which will help the party expand its base in the region. Under Dhamiji's leadership, BJP will register historic victory in the state and especially in Kumaon region," Gaurav Pandey, in-charge of Uttarakhand BJP Youth Wing said.
Dhami worked in different positions in the students wing of the RSS -- the ABVP, for almost a decade and was active in student politics in Lucknow. He also served as president of BJP youth wing in Uttarakhand for two terms.
Dhami was elected as new chief minister of Uttarakhand in the meeting of the BJP's legislature party in Dehradun. Election of new chief minister was held in presence of central observers -- Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and party national general secretary D. Purandeswari. BJP in-charge for Uttarakhand Dushyant Gautam was also present in the meeting.
With IANS Inputs