Trivendra Singh Rawat, a former Sangh leader, will become the new chief minister (CM) of Uttarakhand.
He was elected as leader of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) legislature party in Dehradun on Friday.
Rawat, who was a front-line candidate in the race for the CM’s post, was chosen as leader of the state BJP legislature party after his name was proposed by Satpal Maharaj and seconded by Prakash Pant at a meeting in a hotel. Rawat was an organisational secretary of the state BJP when the state was formed on November 9, 2000.
The BJP had registered a mammoth victory in the recently concluded assembly elections, winning 57 of the total 70 seats in the hill state.
Rawat’s reported ties with BJP president Amit Shah seemed to have worked in his favour as the other two contenders, Pant and Maharaj were pipped to the post.
The 56-year-old Rawat, a post-graduate in history, is also in charge of the Jharkhand BJP, and is credited with the impressive victory of the party in the 2014 assembly elections
there. Rawat was elected from Doiwala constituency of Dehradun district this time, defeating the former transport minister Hira Singh Bisht with an impressive margin. Rawat has the distinction of winning all the three times he has contested from Doiwala seat. However, in 2012, he shifted his constituency to Raipur in Dehradun district, where he was defeated by Umesh Sharma Kau by a slender margin. During his stint as agriculture minister in the Uttarakhand’s previous BJP government (2007-12), Rawat was embroiled in a seed scandal.
Rawat denied charges of any misdoing.
Rawat will take oath at a public function at Parade Ground in Dehradun on Saturday, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The PM is expected to address a public meeting after the swearing-in ceremony.