Udayavni Special

CM Rawat leaves for Delhi amid speculation of leadership change in U’khand


PTI, Mar 8, 2021, 2:00 PM IST

Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat left for Delhi on Monday amid growing speculation about a leadership change in the state.

An official at the chief minister”s office here confirmed his departure but said the visit was of a “routine nature”.

BJP sources said the party high command summoned Rawat to the national capital for “further discussions” after a meeting of the state BJP”s core committee presided over by central observers was held here on Saturday.

However, Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat claimed there was no leadership change likely in the state and Saturday’s meeting discussed events to mark the completion of the Rawat-led government”s four years in office. Rawat had to attend several programmes in Gairsain and Dehradun on Monday but they had to be cancelled following the summons from Delhi.

While the issues of growing resentment among party MLAs and a long overdue cabinet expansion keep raising their heads from time to time, speculations about a leadership change in the state gained momentum after BJP national vice president Raman Singh and state party in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam arrived here on Saturday to preside over an unscheduled meeting of the state party”s group.

The core group meeting was held at a time when most of the party MLAs and ministers including the chief minister were in Gairsain to attend the important budget session of the state assembly.

The budget session was brought to an abrupt end after passing the state”s budget for 2021-22 fiscal and all MLAs and ministers were called to Dehradun for the core committee meeting.

Core group members Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Bansal, Tehri MP Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah, former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, Nainital MP Ajay Bhatt, cabinet minister Madan Kaushik, minister of state Dhan Singh Rawat, state BJP general secretary Ajeya Kumar among others attended the meeting which went on for over two hours.

Raman Singh, the former Chhattisgarh chief minister, talked separately to each member of the core group to get their feedback.

He also went to the chief minister”s official residence where around 40 party MLAs had gathered and later visited the RSS office here.

Another member of the core group and Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ too met Raman Singh at the Jolly Grant Airport late in the evening.

Meanwhile, Bhagat said the core group meeting discussed celebrations to be held in 70 assembly constituencies in the state on March 18 to mark completion of the BJP government”s four years in office.

He claimed there was no leadership change likely in the state and also refuted reports that there was resentment among party legislators.

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