Dehradun: Three days after being sworn in as the tenth chief minister of Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat will on Friday induct 11 legislators in his Cabinet. The oath taking ceremony will take place at 5pm.
Sources in the BJP told News18 that at least four of the six faces that were part of former chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s Cabinet could be retained by the new chief minister. In the 70-member Uttarakhand assembly, the ruling BJP has 56 members. Apart from the chief minister, 11 more legislators could be inducted.
Three spots remained vacant in Trivendra Rawat’s Cabinet and of the total eight ministers in the Trivendra Cabinet, five in were from Congress background. The BJP cadre for long have been demanding spots by dropping turncoats for ‘dedicated’ party legislators.
With the assembly elections due early next year, the new chief minister doesn’t have much time. Sources said that after several rounds of discussions with the central party leaders, Tirath Singh Rawat was told to avoid ‘unnecessary’ controversies at all costs. At least four ministers from the previous Trivendra regime could make a cut, sources said. Urban development minister in the previous government and Haridwar MLA, Madan Kaushik, was on Friday appointed as new Uttarakhand BJP chief.
With this move, existing president Bansidhar Bhagat, a legislator from Nainital district, is set to land a senior role in the government.
Sources pointed out that Kaushik’s appointment comes as the BJP believes he can manage districts such as Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar that have a block of 20 assembly seats. In several pockets of both the districts, party has been facing heat due to the ongoing farmers’ protest.
“I hope the party will acknowledge experience and seniority,” said Bishan Singh Chupal, a five-time BJP MLA from Pithoragarh district who is hoping for a ministerial birth.
Munna Singh Chauhan, a firebrand party MLA from Dehradun district, is likely to get a ministerial position. MLA Mahendra Bhatt could also get inducted as a minister in a bid to pacify the priest community of Garhwal that was miffed due to Devasthanam Act made by the previous government to manage the shrines.