Crisis in Uttarakhand: BJP MLAs revolt against CM

New Delhi

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat (60) (in pic) rushed to Delhi on Monday to meet BJP President JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah amid a strong speculation he may be removed from the post in the wake of half the BJP MLAs revolting against him, 22 of them openly.

The party leadership has ordered a meeting of the BJP legislature party in Dehra­dun on Tuesday, giving a last chance to Rawat to prove he enjoys support of the majority or else exit quietly and allow the observers to install his successor, already finalised, a source said.

The leadership rushed national vice-president Raman Singh, former Chhattisgarh CM, and state in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam to Dehradun on Saturday to speak to the disgruntled MLAs. A core committee meeting in Dehradun spoke to the disgruntled MLAs. In a House of 70 members, they constitute 28 of the 56 party MLAs.

They have accused the chief minister of corruption and nepotism, misusing his power to appoint his favourites to key posts. They cite a case coming up against him in the SC, which had stayed a CBI probe ordered by the Uttarakhand High Court against him on a petition by a local TV journalist and social activist Umesh Kumar.

Speculation is rife the leadership may remove CM Rawat, just a year ahead of the state Assembly election. The BJP had in the past sacked chief minister BC Khanduri (now 86), a former major general and an upright leader, in 2009 for refusing to carry out favours sought by the national party leaders and made Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' (61) the CM. Nishank is now the Union Education Minister.

High Court Justice Ravindra Dhyani had ordered a CBI probe on October 20 against the CM, holding that there is a prima facie case of corruption. The dissidents say CM Rawat is also facing a Rs15-crore seeds scam in the name of agriculture promotion as the seeds procured from West Bengal, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh were found non-existent in a repeat of Bihar fodder scam, jailing CM Lalu Yadav. The case is pending in the HC.

Rawat is also facing a probe against teacher wife in purchase of a property, much beyond her income. The case in which HC ordered a CBI probe relates to A Chauhan, a Jharkhand RSS worker, reportedly transferring Raw­at’s relatives Rs25 lakh.

Chauhan sought money back when the CM could not make him the chairman of the state gaushala samiti, which is a cabinet rank post.

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