Uttarakhand witnessed the oath-taking ceremony of its 10th Chief Minister on 10 March (Thursday). Member of Parliament from Pauri Garhwal, Tirath Singh Rawat was administered the oath of office by Governor Baby Rani Maurya as the new Chief Minister replacing Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Sections of the media made speculations during the political turmoil that lasted five long days, amid the budget session in Gairsain, regarding the new chief minister.
Tirath Singh Rawat's name did not feature in speculations from sections of the media. Some sections have termed him the ‘dark horse’. Tirath Singh Rawat, however, has been very much considered a senior leader with a sharp understanding of politics in the state.
The name of Tirath Singh Rawat was proposed by Trivendra Singh Rawat at the legislative party meeting in Dehradun. He referred to his successor as "mere chhote bhai" (affectionately, younger brother). Tirath Singh Rawat is known to be a close aide of former chief minister of Uttarakhand B C Khanduri.
Tirath Singh Rawat fought the 2019 polls from Pauri Garhwal, which was the Lok Sabha constituency won by Khanduri himself in 2014. Khanduri did not contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Rawat contested from Pauri Garhwal against his mentor's son Manish Khanduri, who represents Congress.
Tirath Singh Rawat is known as a grassroots politician and is said to have a good understanding of the political contours of the state. Uttarakhand is going to assembly polls in 2022.
Congress seems energised with the political drama surrounding the ouster of Trivendra Singh Rawat and the Aam Aadmi Party is making efforts to create an impact in the state. Congress leaders have already stated that the BJP will not succeed in coming to power in 2022.
With these developments in the background, Tirath Singh Rawat, a youth leader from Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (Uttar Pradesh then) and Uttarakhand's first education minister, has taken the responsibility and the chair as the hill state's new Chief Minister. He has roughly a year to work as Chief Minister. He has climbed to the top spot after being denied a ticket in 2017 assembly polls, where he was elected the MLA in the previous election.
The constituency in question was Chaubatkhal, which, today, is known as the seat of Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj. The name of Chaubatkhal MLA Satpal Maharaj was being taken as one of the contenders by old media. Others were Dhan Singh Rawat and Member of Rajya Sabha Anil Baluni.
Tirath Singh Rawat's name never came up in the media, but Trivendra Singh Rawat proposed his name in the meeting in Dehradun on 10 March.
Tirath Singh Rawat earned a ticket to the 2019 Lok Sabha to win the election by a margin of more than 3 lakh votes. In that contest, Tirath Singh Rawat got the support of people just as naturally as Khanduri would. Khanduri, however, distanced himself from the poll campaigns that involved his son on one side and Tirath Singh Rawat, who has worked closely with him, on the other.
The newly appointed Chief Minister said that he is grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party for giving him the opportunity. He added that he will make the best efforts to live up to the expectations "and continue to do the positive work done by Trivendra Singh Rawat during the last four years.”
Prime Minister Modi congratulated Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat in a post on Twitter.
He reviewed the preparations for the first shahi snan at the Haridwar Maha Kumbh which would be held on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri (today).
He directed officials to make all arrangements to ensure that the devotees coming for Kumbh do not face inconvenience.
The new Chief Minister will have to look into issues of discontent and issues related to, and in, Gairsain and Kumaon. Kumbh is ongoing and the Congress has made efforts to corner BJP on the state government's preparations for the Kumbh. Issues related to health facilities and outmigration will continue to demand attention, addressing, hearing and work from the state government.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.
The embedded tweet could not be found…