Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday (July 4) took oath as the third chief minister of Uttarakhand in four months amidst resentment among the senior state Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.
Governor Baby Rani Maurya administered the oath to Dhami and eight of his ministers in the lawns of the Raj Bhawan in Dehradun.
Earlier in the day, Dhami went to meet several senior leaders, including Satpal Maharaj and Harak Singh Rawat, who was reportedly not happy with the choice of the post of chief minister. Both Satpal and Harak were persuaded to join the cabinet. Satpal, a former Congress MP who joined BJP in 2014, too was in the race for the post of chief minister.
Political observers are of the view that though Dhami is from the Sangh Parivar background he would have to do a lot of tight-rope walking in the next seven months of his tenure. As he is not only junior to many original BJP leaders but also to those former Congressmen and women who had joined the saffron camp before 2017 Assembly election, the discontentment is somewhat natural.
After all he is only a second term legislator from Kumaon region and has never served as minister. According to Uttarakhand-watchers Dhami was preferred because he too is a Rajput and comes from Kumaon region of the state, the home turf of senior Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat.
Analysts are of the view that the change of chief minister may not solve the problem of the faction-ridden BJP in Uttarakhand. If the party loses in the next year Assembly election Dhami would be made the scape-goat and if it wins, the saffron party will give all the credit to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.