Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has submited his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya late on Friday night, reported news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called a legislature party meeting at 3 pm tomorrow at the party headquarters. The meeting will be held under the chairmanship of state president Madan Kaushik, said state's media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan.
According to news agency ANI, the BJP has named Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar as central observer for the state of Uttarakhand. He will be in the state tomorrow.
Sources in the party told news agency IANS that the legislative party meeting has been called to elect a new Chief Minister.
Reportedly, Satpal Maharaj and Dhan Singh Rawat have sent feelers to the BJP leadership that they are interested in replacing Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat. Besides, the names of Pushkar Dhani and Ritu Khanduri are also doing the rounds.
Why has Tirath Singh Rawat resigned?
Rawat has resigned from his post in order to avoid a Constitutional crisis in the state.
For the uninitiated, according to the Constitution, Tirath Singh Rawat, an MP from Pauri Garhwal who was sworn in as Chief Minister on March 10 replacing Trivendra Rawat, needed to become a member of the state assembly before September 10 to continue in office.
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 the new member is one year or more.
However, with the term of the assembly coming to an end in less than a year, the EC is not likely to order a bypoll for the vacant seats in Uttarakhand. Moreover, the scathing criticism by the courts due to the string of elections held during the coronavirus pandemic may also contribute to the EC decision on not holding Uttarakhand bypolls. Also, the Centre was also not likely to press for a bypoll in Uttarakhand as bypolls are also due in other parts of the country and the hill state cannot be made an exception.