March 7, 2021 3:02:37 am
The Budget session of Uttarakhand Assembly was adjourned sine die in Gairsain, a day before schedule, amid some fast-paced political developments in the state, including speculation about a change of chief minister, and BJP national vice-president Raman Singh reaching Dehradun to attend the meeting of party’s state core committee as an “observer”.
The BJP denied the “rumours” of any change and said CM Trivendra Singh Rawat will complete his term of five years.
With Singh arriving in Dehradun, Rawat, several state ministers and MLAs rushed in choppers from Gairsain. Rawat attended the meeting and was the first to leave – within 30 minutes – even as Raman Singh and BJP general secretary in charge of Uttarakhand Dushyant Kumar Gautam, along with other ministers and legislators, continued.
At the end of the meeting, party state president Bansi Dhar Bhagat rejected possibilities of a change of CM. Bhagat also said that no discussion was held about Cabinet expansion.
With several vacancies, a Cabinet expansion is awaited for long in the hill state.
On speculations about change of chief minister, Bhagat said, “These rumours are only in the media, not in the party. The core committee meeting was called to discuss how to celebrate the completion of four years of the Rawat government on March 18, and how to take the government’s achievements to the people.”
Bhagat stressed that Rawat will complete his five-year tenure.
On adjournment of Assembly earlier than scheduled, Bhagat, an MLA from Kaladhungi in Nainital, said it was pre-decided.
Assembly deputy speaker Raghunath Singh Chauhan said Opposition members were informed in the business advisory meeting that the session would be held on Saturday and Sunday, but as all Bills and the Budget was passed Saturday and no business was left, the session was adjourned sine die.
But state Congress chief and Chakrata MLA Pritam Singh said, “In the last business advisory meeting it was decided that the session will be held in continuation on Saturday and Sunday (March 6-7). But the session was adjourned sine die abruptly after an argument between the government and the Opposition on the issue of Covid-19 management.” He said there was no prior communication about adjourning the House today.
Speaking to reporters after the core committee meeting, Bhagat said there are no differences among people in the government: “Koi badlao nahi, koi takrao nhi, koi manmutao nahi (no change, no conflict, no differences).”
He said Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was also expected in the meeting but could not make it on time.
Those who attended the meeting include Rajya MP Naresh Bansal, Lok Sabha MPs Ajay Bhatt and Rajya Laxmi Shah, and minister Dhan Singh Rawat, along with the party’s state unit office-bearers. The CM later held a meeting with party MLAs and discussed programmes to be held in all Assembly constituencies on March 18 to mark completion of four years of his government. Rawat said the main state-level function will be held in Doilwala – his constituency – and Union minister Nitin Gadkari will be present there.
Rawat is scheduled to return to Gairsain on Sunday for a meeting with all BJP district presidents.
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