BJP legislative party elects Pushkar Singh Dhami as Uttarakhand CM
The BJP legislative party on Monday formally elected Pushkar Singh Dhami as Uttarakhand chief minister.
Dhami had been chief minister leading to the Assembly polls but had lost from his constituency. Many in the BJP therefore thought that BJP national chief spokesperson Anil Baluni, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and junior defence minister Ajay Bhatt were the likely contenders.
“Dhami performed well during his six months as chief minister,” defence minister Rajnath Singh, sent from Delhi to ensure the MLAs accepted the national leadership’s decision, said, flanked by Union parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi and junior external affairs minister Meenakshi Lekhi.
After Rajnath’s announcement, Dhami said: “I thank all the leaders including Narendra Modi for their confidence in me.”
Dhami appeared to have known all along that his defeat wouldn’t affect his chair.
After the poll results were announced on March 10, Dhami, sitting between Joshi and BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, had said: “After the formation of my government, I shall form a committee to recommend modalities for a uniform civil code, which I promised before the election.”
Baluni said: “It’s not about one leader but about the sentiments of Uttarakhand. The decision has been taken keeping in view the next five years of development in the hill state.”
The BJP has won 47 of the state’s 70 seats, and the Congress 19. Dhami lost by about 7,000 votes to Congress candidate Bhuwan Chand Kapri from Khatima. He is expected to contest a by-election within six months from a safe seat that a party MLA will vacate for him.