Senior BJP leader Trivendra Singh Rawat was on Friday elected as the leader of the BJP Legislature Party in Uttarakhand. He will take oath as the new Chief Minister of the hill state today at a ceremony that will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
The BJP rode to power with a stellar performance in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the state, sweeping 57 constituencies in the 70-seat Assembly.
Rawat, a former RSS pracharak, was said to be the frontrunner for the post and was formally elected by the party’s MLAs today.
* Two Central observers, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and BJP general secretary Saroj Pandey, state’s election in-charge Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP’s state in-charge Shyam Jaju also present at the meet
* Newly-elected BJP MLAs meet underway to finalise the CM name
Meanwhile, hectic preparations are underway in the state capital for the swearing-in of the new government on Saturday.
State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said that the oath taking for the new ministers has been fixed for 3 pm on March 18 (Saturday).
All the 57 newly-elected legislators of the BJP have been asked to come to the state capital between Friday and Saturday to partake in the swearing-in which is likely to be a grand affair as the party has swept back to power after five years with a landslide majority.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah along with select ministers from the Union government and central office bearers are likely to be present at the oath taking ceremony.
Rawat (56), who had been an RSS activist from 1983 to 2002, has been elected for the third time from the Doiwala assembly seat. He was elected from Doiwala in the state's first legislative assembly elections in 2002.
He is also in-charge of BJP’s Jharkhand unit.
He had earlier held the position of organising secretary of the Uttarakhand region and later the state.
Considered close to BJP president Amit Shah, Rawat has worked with him in Uttar Pradesh before 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
In 2007, he retained his seat and served as the State's Minister of Agriculture. He was reportedly involved in a ‘seed scam’ earlier. However, Rawat claimed that an investigation initiated by the Congress government had failed to prove him guilty.
Rawat has a post-graduate degree in History and a diploma in Journalism from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, according to his affidavit.
According to the affidavit he had filed with the Election Commission, Rawat has no criminal cases against him and holds assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.