Updated: January 17, 2022 7:04:11 am
Last month, Rawat, who is the Minister of Forest and Environment, Labour, Employment and Skill Development, had threatened to resign from the post during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
Rawat was upset over the state government’s lack of approval for a medical college in Kotdwar area, from where he is the MLA. On several occasions in the past, Rawat had suggested that he will ensure a medical college in the area and will go to any length to make it happen.
Sources in the party suggested that Rawat wanted a party ticket for a relative for the upcoming Assembly polls and had in the recent past triggered speculation that he might try to join the Congress party.
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“The party has expelled Cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat for six years. Party state president Madan Kaushik has confirmed that he has been removed from party membership due to indiscipline. The party will not tolerate indiscipline,” said BJP Uttarakhand media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan in a written statement.
Later in the night, following a recommendation from Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, Uttarakhand Governor Gurmit Singh removed him from the state Cabinet. Dhami will now have the additional charge of all ministries and departments (Forest and Environment, Labour, Employment, Skill Development and Energy) handled by Rawat.
Rawat was one of the nine Congress rebel legislators who in 2016 joined hands with the BJP against then Chief Minister Harish Rawat to dislodge his government. This happened after his persistent request for more departments such as PWD and Power was turned down by the then Chief Minister.
In 2012, Rawat lost to Vijay Bahuguna in the race to the Chief Minister’s post and was inducted in the Cabinet.
He won his first Assembly election in 1991 on a BJP ticket from Pauri and served as the youngest minister in the Kalyan Singh government in undivided Uttar Pradesh. He later joined the BSP. In 1998, Rawat switched to the Congress after being denied a ticket by the BSP and got elected as MLA from Lansdowne in 2002 and 2007. He was the Leader of Opposition in the state from 2007 to 2012.
Recently, exposing possible factionalism in the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand, party MLA Daleep Singh Rawat had sent a letter to Chief Minister Dhami, accusing ministries run by Rawat of neglecting his Lansdowne constituency.
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