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BJP summons Uttarakhand CM Rawat to Delhi

Trivendra Singh Rawat  

The crisis over the continuation of Uttarakhand Chief Minister T.S. Rawat seems to be coming to a head in the BJP, with party president J.P. Nadda summoning Mr. Rawat to Delhi after central observers Raman Singh and Dushyant Gautam underlined serious concerns over the Chief Minister’s style of functioning. Mr Rawat, on his return to Dehradun on Tuesday has called party MLAs for a consultation at his residence.

In Delhi, Mr. Rawat met with Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni and was accompanied by the latter when he met Mr. Nadda. Senior national leaders of the party, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and general secretary organisation B.L. Santosh also held a meeting on the issue.

Mr. Rawat is said to be unpopular among his MLAs and an internal survey by the BJP in Uttarakhand, which is slated to go to polls early next year, showed that while there was no resentment against the party or Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Rawat was not popular.

“While it is not the party’s style to change chief ministers hurriedly or so close to the polls, the lessons learnt from the Jharkhand elections are still fresh. We (BJP) lost the State because then chief minister Raghubar Das was personally unpopular, even within the party, and there was massive infighting, even rebellion, when we went to polls resulting in the loss,” said a senior source.

Uttarakhand MLA Munna Singh Chauhan, who accompanied Mr. Rawat to Delhi on Monday, however, denied any moves to replace the Chief Minister, adding that MLAs would meet him on Tuesday.

“As of now I can say it’s not a formal legislative party meet but everyone is free to meet the chief minister,” said Mr Chauhan.

On being asked directly whether the Chief Minister was going to be replaced, Mr Chauhan said the BJP followed certain rules where the Parliamentary Board decides on these issues. The process of consultation happens as it’s a workers based party and is democratic,” he added, avoiding a direct answer.

Mr Rawat had earlier called his party MLAs to Delhi but later cancelled the meeting as it became clear that the BJP was veering towards holding a legislative party meet in Dehradun.

Many names are making the rounds as a replacement for Mr Rawat including State Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat, Mr. Baluni, Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Lok Sabha MP Ajay Bhat. However, the question of whether he will be replaced at all remains.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 1:46:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cm-rawat-leaves-for-delhi-amid-speculation-of-leadership-change-in-uttarakhand/article34018119.ece

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