Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s resignation on Tuesday once again brought to fore how the 20-year-old state continued to witness instability with eight political leaders taking over the state’s reigns since its formation in 2000.
Rawat put in his papers a day after he met BJP national president JP Nadda in Delhi amid reports of the saffron camp asking him to step down over poor performance. Addressing the media minutes after leaving the Raj Bhavan, Rawat, who was going to complete four years in office on March 17, thanked the saffron party for giving a ‘young worker from a small village’ the chance to be the chief minister. He was made the chief minister after the BJP won the 2017 Assembly election.
However, the hill state’s tryst with change in CM faces has been frequent with only the late Narayan Dutt Tiwari (2002-07) of the Congress having completed his five-year tenure. Tiwari was also the state’s first elected chief minister.
Before him, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari of the BJP had occupied the chair ahead of the first election. Koshiari was again in power for 122 days (October 30, 2001- March 1, 2002) after taking over the reins from fellow party colleague Nityanand Swami who governed as CM between November 9, 2000, to October 29, 2001.
Congress leader Harish Rawat became the CM for the first time in February 2014 and remained in chair till March 2016. This was followed by President’s Rule. Rawat was back in the chair for a day on April 21, 2016, and again came to power on May 11, 2016, to March 18, 2017.
The state’s first elected BJP CM was BC Khanduri, who took over on March 7, 2007, and ruled till June 26, 2009. After Khanduri resigned over the party dismal performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the state, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ (now Union Education Minister) came to power for another two years. Pokhriyal’s term was mired in corruption allegations and the BJP asked him to resign ahead of the assembly election in 2012. Khanduri again took over at the age of 76 and continued in the chair till March 2012.
The Assembly election brought back the Congress in reckoning and it leader Vijay Bahugana took over and continued till January 31, 2014. Bahugana, who was accused of non-performance during the massive 2013 floods, was asked to quit as part of an organisational revamp and was replaced by Harish Rawat.