Business Standard

BJP retains Dhami, Sawant as CMs of Uttarakhand, Goa

Pushkar Singh Dhami and Pramod Sawant will be the chief ministers of Uttarakhand and Goa for a second successive term

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, Goa CM Pramod Sawant and others during a meeting, in Panaji (Photo: PTI)

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, Goa CM Pramod Sawant and others during a meeting, in Panaji (Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India Dehradun/Panaji
Pushkar Singh Dhami and Pramod Sawant will be the chief ministers of Uttarakhand and Goa for a second successive term after the BJP Monday weighed in favour of youth, continuity and ability to perform under pressure ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP lawmakers of the two states met in Dehradun and Panaji, and elected Dhami, who lost his own seat but powered the party to a massive victory, and Sawant, as their leaders, ending 11 days of intense speculation over chief ministership.
Party's central observer and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced Dhami's name after a brief meeting of the BJP legislature party in Dehradun which was also attended by Union ministers Meenakshi Lekhi and Pralhad Joshi.
"In six months, Dhami left his imprint on Uttarakhand which manifested in the election results," Rajnath Singh told reporters after announcing Dhami's election as the legislature party leader.
The BJP has reposed faith in Dhami once again as he knows well how to run a government, the defence minister said, adding all MLAs unanimously supported him.
"The state's development will get a fillip and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand vision for the development of Uttarakhand will be turned into reality," Dhami said.
Though Dhami, 46, the youngest chief minister of the state, was a clear favourite for the top job despite losing his Khatima seat, which he represented twice in 2012 and 2017, whatever doubt remained about the leader getting a second term were scotched as the BJP central leadership opted for stability in the state that saw three chief ministers in four months in 2021.
It's for the first time that a BJP government will have a chief minister who himself lost the election.
Sawant, too, was elected unanimously as the BJP legislature party leader, with Vishwajit Rane, another contender for the top job, proposing his name.
It has been decided that Dr Pramod Sawant would be the leader of the House, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters after the BJP legislature party meeting.
The BJP, which won 20 seats in the 40-member assembly, submitted letters of support from the MGP, Goa's oldest regional party, and three Independents to Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, who invited Sawant to form the next government.
I am satisfied that 25 MLAs are supporting the claim of Dr Pramod Sawant. Accordingly, I hereby invite you to be appointed as the chief minister of Goa. You will assume office after administration of oath, the governor said.
Sawant has been rewarded for overcoming anti-incumbency and steering the party to victory despite resignations by some key figures, including the son of the redoubtable Manohar Parrikar, over ticket allocation.
Under his stewardship of the state, the BJP put up its second best performance ever - winning 20 seats. The BJP had won a simple majority under Parrikar in 2012 when it won 21 seats.
The two-term MLA, like Dhami, is considered close to the RSS, the ideological parent of the BJP.
Pushkar Singh Dhami, who was appointed as CM in July last year and was the third chief minister of Uttarakhand in four months, led the party to a record second straight term in the hill state, with the BJP winning 47 seats out of 70.
Dhami's ability to check infighting in the state unit, which has six former chief ministers and many heavyweights who switched over from the Congress, has also gone in his favour, BJP insiders said.
Though Dhami lost from his own constituency, many MLAs, including Independents, have offered to vacate their seats for him.
According to constitutional norms, Dhami will have to get elected to the state assembly within six months of assuming office.
His loss had put the BJP in a quandary, but after hectic parleys that dragged over several days, the party preferred continuity over change.
Dhami's reappointment is a message that the party is looking for a stable government in the run up to the 2024 general elections, party sources said.
"The party has shown faith in the young generation to lead the state and realise the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Uttarakhand," said Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, a former chief minister and ex-Union minister who was present in the legislature party meeting that elected Dhami.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Mar 21 2022 | 11:00 PM IST

Explore News