Tirath Singh Rawat, the Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Pauri Garhwal, took oath as the ninth chief minister of Uttarakhand on March 10. The oath was administered by the state Governor Baby Rani Maurya at 4:00 in the evening.
Earlier, in a surprise development in the morning Tirath, an old RSS hand and former state BJP chief, was elected as the leader of the BJP legislative party in Dehra Dun.
Till Tirath’s election speculation was rife that either Dhan Singh Rawat, a minister in the outgoing Trivendra Singh Rawat government or Ajay Bhatt, another MP and state BJP chief, may take over as the chief minister.
Uttarakhand came into existence only in November 2000 and since then no BJP chief minister could complete his full term in office.
Though the BJP swept the 2017 election winning 57 out of the 70 seats, the state unit always remained a divided house. It is suffering from the problem of plenty.
Differences on caste line as well as between the old guards and turncoats have always been quite visible.
Many of those who got elected last time were the ones who crossed over from the Congress.
Political observers are of the view that the party’s central leadership expects that Tirath would be able to maintain balance between the two factions. “If he fails the party may lose the next year’s Assembly election,” an analyst commented.
Speaking to the media after getting elected, Tirath said that his focus would be education, health and tourism.