The exercise of government formation in Uttarakhand took off on Tuesday as the state’s BJP chief Ajay Bhatt met senior leaders in Delhi. The leaders whom Bhatt briefed about the situation in the state were the BJP’s organising secretary Ram Lal, deputy organising secretary Shiv Prakash and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
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Chosen by the central parliamentary board, Tomar and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey are the two observers who will meet BJP MLAs in Uttarakhand to discuss the selection of the new chief minister.
Unlike Goa, where the BJP has been fleet-footed to take a shot at power, in Uttarakhand, the going has been more comfortable as the electorate has handed the party a decisive mandate. The BJP won 57 of the 70 seats.
Bhatt, who lost from his home seat of Ranikhet, will meet party chief Amit Shah and Pandey on Wednesday. Subsequently, the two observers will visit Dehradun and meet the group of MLAs in a few days.
The two will then submit their report to Shah, who will then announce the name of the new chief minister in Delhi. While the names of probables such as Satpal Maharaj, Prakash Pant and Trivendra Singh Rawat are doing the rounds, party leaders pointed out that “it is futile to speculate”.
“CM ka naam sirf Modiji or Amit Shah ki jeb mein hai (Only Modiji and Amit Shah know who would be the CM),” said an Uttarakhand leader. “It could be a completely unexpected name too,” he said.
The new cabinet has time till March 27 to take oath. The Uttarakhand bureaucracy has been abuzz with the possibility of a reshuffle as several senior bureaucrats could be transferred.
“Harish Rawat ran his corrupt regime with the help of some officers. They all will be shifted out. We will have a new team,” said a senior leader.
Re-polling in one booth today
One booth of Champawat constituency —Karankarayat— will see fresh polling on Wednesday after complaints had emerged about a faulty EVM at the booth on the counting day on March 11. The EVMs stopped displaying results due to some technical problem prompting authorities to stop counting, the state election office said here.
The result of the Champawat seat, which was earlier won by the BJP, has been withheld. When the EVMs conked out, BJP’s Puran Singh Fartyal was ahead of his nearest rival Congress’ Khushal Singh by over 400 votes.
Of the result for 69 seats declared, the BJP has won in 56 to sweep to power in the state. The Congress has won in 11 seats and Independents secured two seats.