Five days after the election results in Uttarakhand gave the BJP a thumping majority in the Assembly, there is still no clarity on who would occupy the chief minister’s post. Reports emerge that both prime minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah will attend the swearing-in ceremony on March 18 in Dehradun even though the party has not finalised on a name yet. The BJP has also not declared its chief minister in the heartland state of Uttar Pradesh where the party and its allies romped home with 325 seats out of the state’s 403.
In Uttarakhand, two central observers of the party, union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha president Saroj Pandey, are scheduled to hold a meeting with party MLAs on Thursday. Some of the names doing the rounds are Satpal Maharaj, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Prakash Pant. While Maharaj had joined the party in 2014 from the Congress, Pant is an MLA from Pithoragarh in Kumaon region. Balancing the interests of the people of the two regions of Kumaon and Garhwal is crucial for any party that forms the government in the state.
The election results on March 11 gave the BJP an unprecedented 57 seats out of 70. The incumbent Congress, under chief minister Harish Rawat, was decimated with 11 seats with Rawat himself losing from the two seats he contested from.
“CM ka naam sirf Modiji or Amit Shah ki jeb mein hai (Only Modiji and Amit Shah know who would be the CM),” an Uttarakhand leader had told The Indian Express. “It could be a completely unexpected name too,” he said.