Updated: March 18, 2017 7:12:19 am
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is among those who began attending RSS shakhas in the teens and moved to the BJP with Sangh “sanskar (values)” firmly embedded. Rawat, 56, joined the RSS in 1979 and within two years became a pracharak in 1981 when he was 21.
A pracharak does not live with his family and devotes his life to the Sangh’s work. In 1985, Rawat became the Dehradun Mahanagar Pracharak, before he assumed a series of responsibilities in the BJP, the most significant being that of Uttarakhand organising secretary from 1997-2002.
Rawat, born in Pauri Garhwal, completed his post-graduation in journalism, participated in the statehood movement and went to jail for it. While he has contested all his four Assembly elections from Doiwala in the plains of Dehradun, his friends call him a “pakka pahadi”. Rawat became an MLA in 2002 for the first time and won the second term in 2007 when he held several portfolios, among them agriculture, micro irrigation, fisheries, animal husbandry and disaster management, in governments of B C Khanduri and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. After he lost the 2012 poll, he was made a national secretary.
He had earlier links with party chief Amit Shah, but their proximity grew when Rawat was made the assistant in-charge of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh. In October 2014, Rawat became the Jharkhand in-charge, and the party got its first majority in the state.
His RSS links and closeness to Shah made his road to the CM’s house possible. Asked how his Sangh connection favoured him, Shyam Jaju, who also has an RSS background and is in charge of the Uttarakhand BJP, said: “Many prominent BJP leaders come from the RSS. They use their RSS experience and sanskar in political and social life. Trivendra Singh Rawatji has been a pracharak…. We are obviously proud of it.”
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