Monday is the D-Day for the announcement of the Chief Ministers for Uttarakhand and Goa, 11 days after the results of the Assembly polls saw the BJP return to power in both States, but political complications and timing issues having delayed the announcement. In both States, meetings of the legislature parties have been scheduled for Monday to elect the Chief Minister.
In Uttarakhand, the BJP faces a unique quandary of having a majority in the Assembly but with their chief ministerial–face through the election, Pushkar Singh Dhami, having lost his seat.
Intense meetings were held among the BJP top brass in Delhi including long meetings chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go into the signals that appointing or disappointing Mr. Dhami were likely to be.
According to top sources in the BJP, if Mr. Dhami is continued with, then precedents already set in the party, especially in the case of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal being denied the chair in 2017 having lost his seat, will be negated.
On the other hand, the fate of former Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya also hangs with Mr. Dhami’s resurrection.
Mr. Maurya has also lost his Assembly poll (though he remains a member of the Council) and differences between him and Chief Minister–designate Yogi Adityanath are a sticking point, with the Delhi leadership keen on accommodating him and Lucknow in favour of using his loss to keep him out of government. The decision over Mr. Dhami, therefore, is tied up to many issues including the party’s internal dynamics in other States.
By Sunday evening, it was clear that senior BJP MLA Bansidhar Bhagat will be the pro–tem Speaker for the Uttarakhand Assembly and swear in the members.
After this, a meeting of the legislature party will take place and a name for Chief Minister be announced. Central observer, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to reach Dehradun on Monday morning along with Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi.
Suspense over announcement of CM in Goa
In Goa too, ending the long drawn out suspense over the announcement of Chief Minister, the BJP on Sunday said a meeting of the legislature party will take place on Monday to decide the matter.
Party State president Sadanand Shet Tanavade said central observers — Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister of State L. Murugan — would arrive in Goa on Monday following which the process of the new government formation will be finalised by evening at the legislative party meeting.
“The swearing in of the new government will take place anytime between March 23 and March 25 for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have been invited. The BJP will announce the Chief Minister tomorrow [Monday] after the meeting. They will also approach the Governor and stake claim tomorrow. Goa desk in–charge Devendra Fadnavis and C.T. Ravi will also be part of the meeting.” Mr. Tanavade said, adding that the swearing in would take place at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Stadium.
Caretaker Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, along with his intra–party rival Vishwajit Rane, had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda in Delhi on Saturday. Following the meeting, a Goa BJP MLA dispelled rumours of Mr. Rane being the next Goa CM, stating that Mr. Sawant would continue in that post.
Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Sawant tweeted on the occasion of his having completed three years as Chief Minister. He thanked PM Modi in his tweet and stressed on the human and infrastructure development in Goa under the BJP.