DEHRADUN: Putting an end to political drama in Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami was named the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on Saturday. The decision to make the 45-yearold the No 1 man in the state cabinet was taken at the BJP’s legislature group meeting. A two-time MLA from Khatima constituency, Dhami is the youngest CM of Uttarakhand. He will take oath at Raj Bhawan on Sunday.
“I am grateful that the party has chosen a common worker, son of an ex-serviceman born in Pithoragarh to serve the state. We are committed to working for the people. We will do our best to serve,” Dhami said. His name was proposed by Tirath Singh Rawat, who resigned as CM on Friday.
After that, it was an unanimous choice. There were celebrations in the new CM’s native village, with locals dancing to the beat of dholaks. A student leader to begin with, Dhami is believed to have a strong youth connect. He is regarded as one who fought for the youths of the state. In his younger days, he was a leader of ABVP, the student wing of RSS.
Later, he became part of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, youth wing of BJP. In all, he served in RSS and its sister organizations for 33 years. “There are many challenges. Mine will be to win hearts through good work,” he said. Not known to be very close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Dhami is believed to be close to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Former Uttarakhand BJP president and MP from Nainital, Ajay Bhatt said it felt good to have a young leader. “We are going to win the 2022 Assembly elections with a bigger margin than 2017,” he said. Dhami’s mother Vishna Devi said: “I cannot describe my feelings. I miss his father. He would have been happier than me, the happiest person in the world to see his son become the CM.” Dhami’s wife Geeta thanked the Prime Minister, Shah, Rajnath, BJP’s national president JP Nadda and the people of Khatima who elected him to the Assembly.
Opposition leaders lashed out at BJP. “The drama (CM change) staged by BJP is an insult to the people of the state. The Prime Minister promised that double engine governments, one in Delhi another in Dehradun, will work towards development but all they gave was two ex-chief ministers.” Earlier this year, Rawat had replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat as chief minister of the state.