Ajay Tamta, Dalit MP, will keep Uttarakhand flag high in Delhi Durbar

BJP leader Rajnath Singh had hinted at appointing Baluni as a minister during a public gathering in Gopeshwar.
Ajay Tamta, Dalit MP, will keep Uttarakhand flag high in Delhi Durbar

DEHRADUN: After a hat-trick of clean sweep in Lok Sabha polls in Uttarakhand, Ajay Tamta, a Dalit face and third-time MP from Almora, was picked as a minister in the Modi cabinet.

BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni, former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat and outgoing minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt, who won with a record margin of 3.34 lakh votes, were contenders for a berth.

BJP leader Rajnath Singh had hinted at appointing Baluni as a minister during a public gathering in Gopeshwar. However, out of the five BJP MPs in the hill state, the BJP picked Tamta as a minister, bypassing upper castes.

According to BJP sources, the central leadership’s feedback was that if an MP from Pauri or Haridwar is made a minister, there is a possibility of a new power centre emerging in the state and a new round of political instability within the BJP. Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, close to PM Modi, is against such a possibility.

Amid such an apprehension, the party leadership went by Dhami’s words and chose Tamta as a minister, the sources said. Congress state spokesperson Mohan Kala said, “The BJP will not desist from caste politics. Ajay Bhatt won with highest number of votes and yet he was denied ministerial berth, BJP doesn’t know how to respect the mandate.” Tamta was a minister of state in the Modi government back in 2014.

New power centre?

BJP sources: leaders said if an MP from Pauri or Haridwar is a minister, there’s a possibility of a new power centre.

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