THE BJP is learnt to have picked Trivendra Singh Rawat, a former RSS pracharak, as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Sources said that while Rawat was informed last night, he will be formally elected by the party’s MLAs on Friday. The newly-elected BJP MLAs are scheduled to meet tomorrow. Besides the two central observers, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey, the state’s election in-charge Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP’s state in-charge Shyam Jaju will also attend the meeting.
The oath-taking ceremony is scheduled to be held in Dehradun on March 18. “The new chief minister will take oath on March 18 at 3 pm. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and several other senior leaders will be present on the occasion,” said state BJP president Ajay Bhatt. “We have asked all the MLAs to be present in Dehradun on March 17 and 18.”
Rawat, 56, who represents Doiwala assembly constituency, is known to be close to BJP president Amit Shah. He is currently in-charge of the party’s Jharkhand unit. He was with the RSS from 1983 to 2002, and held the key post of organising secretary of the Uttarakhand region at first, and later the state. He first won the Doiwala assembly seat in 2002. Elected to the assembly for the third time, he was state agriculture minister in 2007-2012.
Earlier, the names of Satpal Maharaj and Prakash Pant were also doing the rounds for the chief minister’s post.
— With ENS, Dehradun
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