As soon as the BJP won a clear majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly elections securing 57 seats for itself while reducing Congress party tally to 11, speculations were rife about who would be the next chief minister of the state. Doiwala MLA Trivendra Singh Rawat’s name was finalised at meeting attended by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey and BJP’s state in-charge Shyam Jaju and newly-elected BJP MLAs. Later, Rawat met Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul and formally staked claim to form the next state government. Rawat’s swearing-in ceremony on Saturday will be held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. Here are five things you need to know about him:
— Rawat, who had been an RSS activist from 1983 to 2002, held the position of organising secretary of the Uttarakhand region at first and later the state. He reportedly has close ties with BJP president Amit Shah and has worked with him in Uttar Pradesh before the general elections of 2014.
— 56-year-old Rawat, who has been elected for the third time from the the Doiwala assembly seat in Uttarakhand, is also in-charge of BJP’s Jharkhand unit.
— Reports suggest that the former state agriculture minister had been involved in a ‘seed scam’ earlier. However, Rawat claimed that an investigation initiated by the Congress government had failed to prove him guilty. “The case is being raked up to tarnish my image and I will soon file a defamation suit against those behind it (court case)” he has been quoted as saying to HT.
— Rawat has a post-graduate degree in History and a diploma in Journalism from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, according to his affidavit. The affidavit further states he has no criminal cases against him and holds assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
— Apart from Trivendra Singh Rawat, BJP leaders Satpal Maharaj and Prakash Pant were also participants in the CM race. However Rawat, who is said to enjoy the support of BJP president Shah and the RSS, was backed up by Maharaj and Pant at the party meeting.