NEW DELHI: The ouster of Tirath Singh Rawat as Uttarakhand chief minister is seen within the BJP as the first step for a reset in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Party leaders anticipate a reset in the government at the Centre, too, to weed out “tired and fatigued” ministers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has discussed ‘reset roadmap’ with top functionaries in the government and BJP chief J P Nadda, which will be visible soon in the Cabinet reshuffle, likely soon. After the June 30 meeting of the council of ministers presided over by the PM, the party is abuzz that several ministers of states have been asked to resign and make space for fresh faces.
As for Rawat, the handling of Kumbh seems to have sealed his fate. “The way the Kumbh at Hardwar was organised, particularly the utter disregard for Covid-19 protocol for which the onus fully rested with the state leadership and the administration, is widely believed to have contributed in the spike of the Covid-19 cases. The subsequent revelations that fake negative certificates were issued at Kumbh further hit Rawat’s stock with the BJP brass,” said a senior party leader.
Rawat’s inability to establish a grip on the state administration was also noted by the party leadership at the Centre, which increasingly became convinced that he wouldn’t succeed in leading a united party in the assembly elections next year.
Rawat could have easily stayed till September by when the mandatory six-month period for his election to state legislature would have expired. Though the Representation of People’s Act sets the norms for a minimum of one year of the remainder term for holding bypolls, BJP leaders said the “extraordinary circumstances” could still have impressed upon EC the need to hold bypoll.