Just when the campaigning in four poll-bound states and one Union Territory is at its peak the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership succumbed to the pressure from the rebellious party legislatures of Uttarakhand and asked the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to put in his papers.
He met the state Governor late on March 9 afternoon and submitted his resignation letter.
He is likely to be succeeded by Dhan Singh Rawat, a senior minister, who rose to this position from being an activist of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad during his youth days.
Uttarakhand is going to poll early next year. In 2017 the BJP got a thumping majority winning 57 out of 70 seats. But resentment against Trivendra Singh Rawat started just a year after he became the chief minister. Demands by a section of MLAs were raised to replace him even before the Lok Sabha election of 2019.
The central leadership, however, managed to overcome the crisis then.
But the situation went out of control in recent months and many legislators once again started complaining against his style of functioning.
Thus, once again another BJP chief minister in the state had to go without completing his term. Uttarakhand became a state in November 2000 and no BJP CM could work for full five years.
Incidentally, Trivendra became chief minister in 2017 only after the frontrunner for the post of Uttarakhand chief minister Ajay Bhatt lost from his own Assembly constituency Ranikhet. He was also the President of the state unit of the party.
Independent political observers are of the view that the Central leadership didn’t want to replace Rawat at this point of time as it may send a wrong signal to the poll bound states and Union Territory. The infighting within the Uttarakhand BJP is likely to have a detrimental impact on the poll prospect of the party in the next year Assembly election.