BJP picks Pushkar Singh Dhami as Uttarakhand's new Chief Minister

A day after Tirath Singh Rawat resigned as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand after a less than four-month stint, the state BJP legislature party elected Pushkar Singh Dhami as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on Saturday.

Rawat on Friday handed over his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya at around 11 pm, hours after returning from Delhi where he was summoned by the top BJP leadership on Wednesday.

The name of Mr Dhami, considered close to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, was declared today after the 57 Uttarakhand BJP MLAs met today at the party headquarters in capital Dehradun.

After being elected Dhami said that he work together for people's welfare. While speaking to ANI he said, "My party has appointed a common worker, son of an ex-serviceman, who was born in Pithoragarh to serve the state. We'll work together for people's welfare. We accept the challenge of serving people with the help of others, in a short time span".

The 45-year-old, a two-time-MLA, represents the Khatima constituency. He was an Officer on Special Duty and close aide to former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. The Khatima constituency MLA from the in Udham Singh Nagar district has worked in different positions in the RSS' students wing ABVP for many years. He has also served as president of BJP youth wing president in Uttarakhand for two terms.

Tirath, a Member of Parliament from Pauri Garhwal parliamentary constituency, was chuted into the chair as a replacement of erstwhile chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on 10 March but the former wasn't an elected member of the state Assembly. He had until September, as per Constitutional guidelines, to get elected into the House from one of the 70 Assembly constituencies but Tirath chose to resign much before that.

Assembly elections in the state are due next year.

Tirath Singh Rawat, who had been in Delhi for the past three days confabulating with the BJP's top leadership, was asked yesterday afternoon to quit. His 114-day stint was packed with controversies. The BJP's Uttarakhand leaders had complained to the Delhi leadership about public anger at some of his pronouncements.

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