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Rawat drops rebel Satpal Maharaj’s wife from Cabinet

Satpal, who won Pauri LS seat in the 2009 elections, had recently quit the Congress to join the BJP.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat removed Amrita Rawat, wife of BJP leader Satpal Maharaj, from the Cabinet and appointed an Independent, Dinesh Dhanai, in her place on Monday. By dropping Amrita from the Cabinet, Rawat has tried to send out a strong message that he was in total command of his Congress legislature party. Dhanai also holds the post of Garwal Mandal Vikash Nigam chairperson.

Satpal, who won Pauri LS seat in the 2009 elections, had recently quit the Congress to join the BJP. His wife Amrita was holding the portfolios of Tourism, Women empowerment & child development, Culture and Youth welfare. She represents Ramnagar Assembly seat under Pauri parliamentary constituency.

Rawat’s decision to drop Amrita from his Cabinet is considered to be a masterstroke to dismantle the alleged Satpal camp within the Congress legislature party. Before Amrita’s exit from the state Cabinet, Rawat accommodated all such MLAs, who are considered to be close to Satpal, under his government. All Such MLAs were appointed either as parliamentary secretaries or chairpersons of different boards or committees. Sources said Rawat had held discussions with MLAs, considered close to Satpal, before rewarding them with various posts.

“CM Rawat had communicated Satpal’s wife to resign from the post of minister. However, she did not resign. Rawat finally dropped her,” a source said.

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First published on: 20-05-2014 at 00:39 IST
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