Next in line: Who will be the next CM of Uttarakhand
New Delhi, July 03: Once again, Uttarakhand faces political uproar, as Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat resigned on Friday, less than four months after taking over.
A meeting of BJP MLA's is set to take place on Saturday to elect its new leader, who will be later sworn in as the next chief minister of the state.
Reportedly, Rawat's resignation came amid buzz that he may lose the assembly bypoll if he contests, which would then have it's impact on the party's prospects in assembly elections due next year.
Rawat, who was sworn in as CM on March 10, needs to become a member of the state assembly before September 10 to continue in office.
According to the constituetion, Section 151A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission to fill vacancies in Parliament and the state legislatures through bypolls within six months from the date of their occurrence, provided that the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.
However, the BJP insiders say, the party high command took the decision, given the possibility that the Election Commission may not hold a bypoll enabling Rawat's election to the state assembly. As the term of the assembly in any case coming to an end in less than a year, the EC may not order a bypoll for the vacant seats in Uttarakhand.
The term of Uttarakhand Assembly is scheduled to come to an end in March, only about nine months away.
If a bypoll is not held then the only option left for the BJP's central leadership is to replace Rawat with someone who is already an MLA.
A look at history of political instability in Uttarakhand
The BJP has not been able to give a stable government in Uttharakhand, since the Himalayan state - carved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000. The state has seen sever chief ministers and Congress's N.D. Tiwari is the only chief minister to have completed a five-year term.
During its term in 2000, BJP had two chief ministers Nityanand Swami from 10 November 2001 to 29 October 2002, 10 days less than a year.
In 2007 Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri took over but was replaced with Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in 2009, two years after it was formed. Khanduri made a comeback in 2011.
Again BJP formed government in 2017, when Trivendra Singh Rawat was sworn-in as the chief minister. But he had to quit in March due to the controversy over organising the Kumbh Mela amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the top post, names of Satpal Rawat and Dhan Singh Rawat is doing rounds.
Dhan Singh Rawat:
As the BJP mulling a change of leadership in Uttarakhand, state minister Dhan Singh Rawat has emerged as a frontrunner to replace Tirath Singh Rawat as chief minister. Dhan Singh Rawat is said to be close to Trivendra Singh Rawat. He also served as an RSS office-bearer and has worked as the state secretary of ABVP.
Another prominent name doing the rounds in BJP circles is that of Bansidhar Bhagat. Five-time MLA Bhagat holds long experience and the party hopes that he will be able to get the party through 2022 state assembly elections.
Khatima MLA Pushkar Dhami has also emerged as the frontrunner to chief minister post in Uttharakhand. He is seen as young face for the top post.
Senior BJP leader Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri's daughter Ritu Khanduri's name has also emerged for the top post. Ritu is also the party MLA from Yamkeshwar seat in Pauri district. On Oct 6, last year she was appointed as president of Uttharakhand BJP mahila morcha.