Updated: March 12, 2021 4:01:38 pm
Two days after replacing the chief minister of Uttarakhand, the BJP central leadership on Friday appointed Haridwar MLA Madan Kaushik as state president of the party, replacing Bansi Dhar Bhagat.
On Tuesday, Trivendra Singh Rawat had resigned as Chief Minister following a directive from the BJP central leadership. He was replaced by Garh MP Tirath Singh Rawat. With the change of party state chief, the BJP has new faces for government and organization ahead of 2022 assembly polls.
Kaushik, 56, is a four-term MLA from Haridwar and this is the first time when the BJP has appointed a state president from the plain area instead of hills. In the previous Trivendra cabinet, Kaushik was a minister and government spokesperson.
“Kaushik defended the state government on every front and effectively gave replies in the Assembly on behalf of CM. He has a good experience of party organization,” said a party leader.
A Brahmin, Kaushik had started his political career as district convener of Bajrang Dal in Haridwar.
Bhagat, a six-term MLA from Kumaon region of hills, is likely to be inducted in the Tirath Singh Rawat cabinet. He was elected as party state president in January 2020 and his term was scheduled to end in 2023.
Sources in the party said that central leadership was not comfortable with certain remarks of Bhagat that had drawn criticism for the party in the state.
In January, then CM Trivendra had to apologize after a video of Bhagat making ‘derogatory’ remarks against state Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh went viral. Bhagat, while addressing party workers in Bhimtal, had said, “Our Leader of Opposition is saying that several MLAs are in touch with her…arre budhia, tujhse kyun sampark karengey? (Why will they contact you, old woman).”
In August last year also, Bhagat had drawn criticism from the opposition Congress. “Such remarks caused embarrassment for the party in public. Certainly his remarks were not aimed at hurting anybody but affected the image of the ruling party,” said a party leader.
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