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Uttarakhand: After a day of ‘will he or won’t he’ speculations, CM Trivendra Rawat set to resign today

Reports suggest that Ajay Bhatt, Anil Beluni or Dhan Singh Rawat may replace Trivendra Singh Rawat.

A change in state leadership in Uttarakhand might be on the cards as speculations are rife that the party top brass has decided to remove Trivendra Singh Rawat from the CM’s post. The latest information on political developments In the state says that Rawat is set to resign from his post today in a press conference. Reports have stated that a number of BJP leaders are not satisfied with Rawat’s performance and there is a growing concern that the party’s prospects in the next election ma be hit if Rawat continues.

Reports have it that Rawat was called to meet JP Nadda at his residence on Monday evening after the BJP president held two rounds of meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the party’s national general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh and general secretary in charge of Uttarakhand Dushyant Gautam.

Rawat had reportedly cancelled all his scheduled meetings for Monday to head towards the national capital to meet the top party leaders.

According to reports, some MLAs and a faction of the party have approached the central leadership to express dissatisfaction with the functioning of Uttarakhand’s government led by Trivendra Singh Rawat.

“There is unrest among a major section of party functionaries and MLAs. They are complaining that officers in districts are not paying heed to their recommendations. They are feeling ignored. In this situation, winning the next Assembly election could be a challenge,” an RSS functionary said, adding “It is being explored if damage control can be done by holding meetings of the MLAs with the CM. A change in leadership is the last option.”

Ajay Bhatt, Dhan Singh Rawat or Anil Baluni likely to replace Rawat?

BJP sources have reportedly said that the names in the race to replace Rawat are Ajay Bhatt, Dhan Singh Rawat and Anil Baluni. But a final decision on replacing Rawat will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision to replace the CM will be announced after a legislature party meeting, which is likely to be held on Tuesday, they added.

Refuting the reports that the party is mulling to hold any legislature party meeting to decide the fate of Trivendra Singh Rawat, BJP Chief Spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan told PTI Monday: “As far as my knowledge goes, no formal announcement has been made yet about any state legislature party meeting here tomorrow (Tuesday)”. He claimed late Monday night in New Delhi that Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat will continue to be the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He said that he will complete his term as Chief Minister.

As of yesterday, many BJP leaders in the state had denied reports that Rawat may be replaced.

BJP MP Ajay Bhatt, a senior party leader from the state, told PTI that “all is well” in the state. He added that the two central leaders, BJP vice president Raman Singh and general secretary Dushyant Singh Gautam, had visited Uttarakhand regarding preparations for the three-day state BJP executive meeting from March 12 and the Rawat government’s fourth anniversary on March 18.

Reports have it that Raman Singh and Dushyant Singh Gautam had visited Uttarakhand to speak to the state BJP core group members. They have reportedly submitted their report to party president JP Nadda on their return.

The party senior members have also suggested that it is unlikely that any leadership change in the state will take place.

On being asked if Rawat will continue as CM, the Uttarakhand BJP in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam said that there is no allegation of corruption against him and he is doing good work in the state of Uttarakhand. “It isn’t good to raise questions on his working style, said Dushyant Kumar Gautam.

Cabinet expansion or deputy CM from Kumaon?

Some reports had also suggested that there may be a possibility of BJP placating some leaders with a cabinet expansion, and granting new ministry positions. A report in India Today also stated that the party may add a Deputy CM post and select a leader from the Kumaon region. The name of Pushkar Singh Dhami is being suggested as the Deputy CM.

Rawat was named the chief ministerial candidate by the BJP after it stormed to power in 2017, winning 57 of 70 seats in the state assembly.

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