DEHRADUN: BJP MLA from Kaladhungi, Banshidhar Bhagat was on Monday sworn in as the protem speaker of Uttarakhand Assembly.
The oath of office was administered by Governor Lt Gen (retd) Gurmit Singh at a function at Raj Bhawan which was attended by caretaker chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Secretary S S Sandhu, Principal Secretary Anand Vardhan and secretary to the governor, Ranjit Kumar Sinha.
Soon after being sworn in, Bhagat rushed to the Vidhan Bhawan here to administer the oath to the newly-elected MLAs.
Bhagat is one of the senior-most BJP leaders from the state who was state party president till March 2021 when he became a minister in Dhami's cabinet.
All eyes are set on the BJP's legislature party meeting here on Monday to decide the next chief minister of Uttarakhand where the party stormed back to power for an unprecedented second successive term.
The meeting to be attended by BJP's central observers for Uttarakhand -- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi -- is scheduled to start at the state party office here on Balbir Road at 5 pm.
The meeting will end the 10-day long suspense over who will wear the crown in Uttarakhand where the BJP contested the elections in the name of a young chief minister in Pushkar Singh Dhami.
Though Dhami lost his own seat of Khatima, he is the frontrunner for the top post among about half-a-dozen names doing the rounds.
Other probable names for the top job include those of Chaubattakhal MLA Satpal Maharaj, Shrinagar MLA Dhan Singh Rawat former Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt.
The party's newly-elected MLAs will also gather at the BJP office here for the meeting to elect their leader.