U'khand BJP legislature party to elect new leader

·2-min read

Dehradun, Jul 3 (PTI) The Uttarakhand BJP legislature party will meet on Saturday afternoon to elect its new leader, a day after Tirath Singh Rawat resigned as chief minister after a less than four-month stint. Ending days of speculation about a change of guard in the state, Rawat on Friday handed over his resignation letter to Governor Baby Rani Maurya past 11 pm, hours after returning from Delhi where he was summoned by the top BJP leadership on Wednesday.

The legislature party meeting will begin at the BJP headquarters at 3 pm in the presence of central observer Narendra Tomar and BJP general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand Dushyant Kumar Gautam. All the MLAs have been asked to be present at the meeting, Pradesh BJP president Madan Kaushik, who will chair the meeting, said. However, the names of nearly half a dozen MLAs have already begun doing the rounds as probables for the top job, including Chaubattakhal MLA and cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj, Shrinagar MLA Dhan Singh Rawat and Khatima MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami. A section of party leaders have also suggested the name of former chief minister and Doiwala MLA Trivendra Singh Rawat. Their argument is that with less than a year to go for the next assembly polls it is safe to reinstate Trivendra Singh Rawat, who has the experience of helming the affairs of the state, rather than gambling on a new candidate. However, nothing can be said with a degree of certainty given the BJP' s penchant for springing surprises.

Even Tirath Singh Rawat had emerged as the surprise choice of the party for chief minister belying all speculation when Trivendra Singh Rawat was replaced by him in March this year.

The choice is by no means easy for the BJP as the new chief minister also has to lead the party to the next assembly polls, which are due early next year. PTI ALM KJ

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