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BJP legislative party meeting to elect Uttarakhand Chief Minister begins

A section of BJP leaders credit Dhami for the party's big win in the state Assembly polls and want him to be the chief minister again so that he gets a full five-year term to deliver on PM's vision. 

Published: 21st March 2022 06:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2022 06:00 PM   |  A+A-

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BJP Flags (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

DEHRADUN: The BJP legislative party meeting to elect the new chief minister of Uttarakhand began on Monday evening at the party's office on Balbir Road here.

BJP's central observers for Uttarakhand Rajnath Singh, Meenakshi Lekhi and the party's poll incharge for the state, Pralhad Joshi, are at the meeting, which began around 5 pm.

Before the meeting with newly elected MLAs began here, the party leaders from Delhi stopped at a hotel in the city to confabulate with senior state leaders, including caretaker CM Pushkar Singh Dhami and former Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.

Rajnath and other central party leaders were received at the hotel by Dhami, Satpal Maharaj, Nishank and others.

The meeting will elect the leader of the BJP legislative party in Uttarakhand, ending the 11-day suspense over who will become the CM of the state.

Dhami under whose leadership the BJP had contested the February 14 Assembly polls in Uttarakhand is the frontrunner among around half a dozen names doing the rounds.

Chaubattakhal MLA Satpal Maharaj, Shrinagar MLA Dhan Singh Rawat and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni are among people whose names are doing rounds.

The BJP's dilemma on the choice of a chief minister for Uttarakhand was caused by Dhami's loss in Khatima, a seat he had been winning since the 2012 Assembly polls.

However, a section of BJP leaders credit Dhami for the party's big win in the state Assembly polls and want him to be the chief minister again so that he gets a full five-year term to deliver on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of development for the state.

Dhami and state BJP president Madan Kaushik had attended a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence on Sunday.

Former Uttarakhand chief ministers Nishank and Trivendra Singh Rawat had also attended the Sunday meeting with Shah after which Dhami had said the chief minister will be decided at the legislative party meeting in Dehradun on Monday.

The party which went to polls with Dhami as its chief ministerial candidate won 47 of 70 Assembly seats.

Political observers here feel the BJP does not have much scope left for experimentation in Uttarakhand, where it has already experimented on two chief ministers in its last term.

Dhami had been brought in as a replacement for Tirath Singh Rawat towards the fag end of its tenure in July 2021 and his contribution to the party's good electoral performance cannot be overlooked, political analysts said.

However, if the party goes for a new face, the necessity to strike a caste and regional balance will be a deciding factor. The party will also try to give a CM who can keep his flock together and completes the whole five-year term, they said.

However, the BJP has a penchant for springing surprises on such occasions. Both Tirath Singh Rawat and Dhami were surprise choices for the post of the CM during the party's previous term.



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