DEHRADUN: After Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn in as Uttarakhand Chief Minister, party has begun the hunt for state assembly seat which is now vacant.
Rawat is Lok Sabha MP from Pauri Garhwal seat of Uttarakhand and within six months he needs to become a member of state Legislative Assembly by winning election from any constituency.
A senior BJP leader told The New Indian Express, “Two seats are being discussed for the new CM Chaubattakhal seat from where state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj is the MLA and Doiwala seat from Dehradun which is represented by former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat. Any of the two leaders vacating the seat will be contesting Lok Sabha by-elections from Pauri Garhwal seat.”
However, state cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj, refuting any such possibility said, “There is no such instructions from the top brass. These are just baseless rumors. People of Chaubattakhal have bestowed their love upon me. I cannot abandon them.”
Sources also confirmed that a total of 11 ministers can take oath on Friday filling all 12 cabinet berths including the CM himself.
“The leadership and Rawat are in sync in decision of filling all berths. This will help CM balance dissenting faction which is crucial for upcoming state assembly polls in 2022,” said party insider.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat is expected to expand his cabinet on March 12, state BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat said on Thursday.
He, however, said there is no official word on this so far.
The Uttarakhand cabinet can have 12 ministers but two berths have remained vacant since the BJP government came to power in 2017.
Another fell vacant after the demise of Finance Minister Prakash Pant in June 2019.
These berths have remained vacant despite repeated discussions and party MLAs have been upset about it.
This was also one of the reasons for the ouster of former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, according to party sources.
Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn-in as the Uttarakhand chief minister on Wednesday.
Governor Baby Rani Maurya administered the oath of office to him alone at a simple function held at the Raj Bhawan here.
(With PTI Inputs)