Updated: March 13, 2021 5:02:15 am
Days after replacing the chief minister in Uttarakhand, the BJP central leadership on Friday appointed Haridwar MLA Madan Kaushik as the president of the party’s state unit, replacing Bansi Dhar Bhagat who was made a minister in the state Cabinet.
On Tuesday, Garhwal MP Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn-in as the Chief Minister.
With a change of party state chief, the BJP has new faces on the government and organisational fronts, ahead of Assembly elections slated for 2022.
A four-term MLA from Haridwar, 56-year-old Kaushik is a Brahmin from the plains of the Garhwal region. His predecessor Bhagat, is Brahmin leader from Kumaon region. Kaushik was Cabinet minister and spokesperson in Trivendra Singh Rawat government. He started his political career as district convener of the Bajrang Dal in Haridwar.
According to state BJP leader, “as government spokesperson, Kaushik defended the Trivendra government on every front and as minister he effectively gave replies in the Assembly on behalf of CM. He has a good experience of party organisation. Just like Tirath as CM, party has presented a new face as organisational head.”
“This is first time the BJP has appointed a state president from the plains. In the past, the state president was only from the hills. Haridwar is also in Garhwal but it’s in the plains. Giving representation to the plains in party organisation is important because a large number of Assembly constituencies with higher number of voters and cadre workers are in the plains…” said the leader.
Bhagat was elected the president of the state unit in January, 2020.
According to party leaders, he was replaced due to several public remarks that had led to embarrassment for the party.
In January, then CM Trivendra Singh Rawat had to apologise after a video of Bhagat making ‘derogatory’ remarks against state Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh went viral.
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