Tirath Singh Rawat’s fate hangs in balance as EC yet to announce by-poll date

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Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat (C) (Image credit: The New Indian Express)
Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat (C) (Image credit: The New Indian Express)

Even as Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat met the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, J P Nadda, for the second time in three days on Friday (July 2) in Delhi uncertainty looms large over his stay to his post. The two leaders had a prolonged meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday night.

As he took over as the chief minister on March 10, he needs to become the member of the state Legislative Assembly by September 10. Uttarakhand has no Legislative Council and at present Rawat is an MP.

But the problem is that the Election Commission has till now given no hint on holding by-election for two seats vacant in Uttarakhand. The second surge of corona virus is being cited as a reason for this delay on the part of the Election Commission. It is other thing that the Election Commission conducted eight-phase of Assembly poll in West Bengal in April last when the pandemic was at its peak and thousands of people lost their lives in the state. In the first week of that month polling was held in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry and counting was held on May 2.  

The four-phase Panchayat poll was also held in Uttar Pradesh in the second half of April.

According to sources the BJP appears to be in a bind and a way out is likely to be worked out soon. If this does not happen Rawat will have to resign and pave the way for someone else. Media reports suggest that senior state level party leader Dhan Singh Rawat and Satpal Maharaj are also in the race for the post of chief minister.

After his meeting with J P Nadda, the Uttarakhand chief minister said that he discussed the next year’s Assembly election in the state.

Tirath Singh Rawat had replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat, who had served as the chief minister for the first four years. If the former is being compelled to go it may not leave a good impression for the BJP in the state where it won 57 out of 70 seats in March 2017.

In the post-corona days, the popularity graph of the saffron party has gone down both in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, which too is going for poll early in 2022.

Independent sources said that the BJP perhaps wants to get rid of Tirath Singh Rawat because of his unsatisfactory performance in the last four months and that the Election Commission’s indecision is being cited only as an excuse.

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