Uttarakhand Political Crisis: Litmus Test For BJP

Uttarakhand Political Crisis: Litmus Test For BJP

Uttarakhand has elections early next year and this time the ruling Aam Aadmi Party of Delhi has also announced to contest in Uttarakhand. The BJP government will have to face the anti-incumbency as well as the tussle within the BJP can also increase the BJP’s challenge. Around 10 MLAs, including four ministers, even camped at Delhi against Trivendra. Assembly elections for 70-member Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha will take place in February next year.

At present, the BJP has 57 MLAs in the assembly. There has been speculation that BJP was mulling political changes in the state after several ministers and MLAs have expressed apprehensions over Rawat’s working style.

As per sources, some ministers have given an ultimatum to BJP vice-president Raman Singh and general secretary Dushyant Singh Gautam, who were sent as observers, that they would resign if CM Rawat was not removed.

Several ministers and MLAs have expressed apprehensions over the working style of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Many BJP MLAs and leaders and activists in the state have been complaining to the central leadership about CM Trivendra Singh Rawat and demanding his removal. Angry legislators have alleged that CM does not listen to them and the state government does not listen to them.

Seeing the political upheaval within the party, the central leadership immediately decided to send the observers, holding the front and asked the local leaders to resolve all the issues.

The BJP sent its vice-president Raman Singh and general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand Dushyant Kumar Gautam to the state as observer. Raman Singh, the former chief minister of Chhattisgarh, met several BJP MLAs in Dehradun on March 6, to get their feedback for a possible leadership change. The two observers submitted their report to BJP president JP Nadda who summoned Rawat to New Delhi.

Ending days of speculation over brewing political turmoil in Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned as the chief minister on Tuesday. Rawat submitted his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya at Raj Bhawan after his arrival from Delhi, where he met the party’s central leadership. The resignation came amid speculations that a section of state leaders was miffed with Rawat’s leadership and was of the view that the party’s electoral prospects under him may not be very bright.

He almost completed four years. He became the fifth BJP chief minister to not complete his term. Out of the eight CMs that the state has seen in 20 years, he was the seventh to have vacated the chair before completing the full term.

Tirath Singh Rawat on Wednesday took oath as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Tirath Singh was reportedly picked for the CM post over prominent candidates, including Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He was the first education minister of Uttarakhand. In 2012, he was elected as legislative assembly member (MLA), and in 2013, he served Uttarakhand BJP Chief from 2013-15. Tirath Singh was elected as MP from Pauri Lok Sabha Seat on May 23, 2019.

Political timeline of Uttarakhand:

Uttarakhand, which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh and declared as a separate state in November 2000, has seen eight chief ministers so far- five from the BJP and three from the Congress.

Of all the eight chief ministers, only ND Tiwari of the congress was successful in remaining on his chair for his full five tenure.

Nityanand Swami:

After Uttarakhand came into existence, Nityanand Swami of the BJP became the first chief minister on November 9, 2000 in the interim assembly. However, he resigned on October 29, 2001 – 10 days before he could complete one year in office.

Bhagat Singh Koshiyari:

The BJP replaced Swami with Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on October 30, 2001- barely four months before the first Uttarakhand Assembly elections next year.

ND Tiwari:

The Congress won the 2002, Uttarakhand assembly elections and tiwari took oath as the chief minister on March 2, 2002. He completed his tenure as state’s chief minister.

Major General (retired) BC Khanduri:

BJP won the 2007 assembly election and Major General (retired) BC Khanduri was sworn in as CM on March 7, 2007. Khanduri was perceived to be an upright and honest leader but due to infighting in his own party he could complete his full term.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank:

On June 27, 2009, then Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank took the reins of the government. However, he too failed to contain the infighting in BJP during his two year tenure as CM. BJP leadership, in a bid to retain power, again replaced Pokhriyal with Khanduri on September 11, 2011.

However, efforts of BJP to achieve majority in the 2012 assembly elections did not succeed and party could get only 31 seats in the house of 70. Congress won 32 seats and managed to form government with support of other parties and individuals.

Vijay Bahuguna:

Bahuguna was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on 13 March 2012. Bahuguna resigned from his CM post on 31 January 2014.

Harish Rawat:

Harish Rawat was sworn as Chief Minister on 1 February 2014 in presence of Governor of Uttarakhand, Aziz Qureshi.

Congress rule was most turbulent and unstable. It saw two spells of President Rule and two chief ministers. One of the incumbent Harish Rawat took oath for three times in five years.

Congress lost the 2017 assembly election and BJP romped home by bagging 57 of the 70 seats. Trivendra Singh was the BJP’s choice for the CM’s post. Though the BJP has a decisive mandate but several party MLAs got antagonised and to subside the flareup BJP high command was forced to step in.

Trivendra Singh Rawat:

Trivendra Singh Rawat became the eighth chief minister of Uttarakhand after the BJP won the 2017 assembly election with 57 MLAs in the 70-member house. He had the longest continuous stay in power in Uttarakhand after Narayan Dutta Tiwari. Four years down the line, around half of those MLAs have rebelled against Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, and he on Tuesday got his term curtailed.

Tirath Singh Rawat:

Tirath Singh Rawat is the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Just 9 days before the former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat could complete his 4th year as the head of a BJP government in Uttarakhand, he submitted his resignation.