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Uttarakhand Minister Harak Singh Rawat Expelled from Dhami Cabinet for Anti-party Activities

Harak Singh Rawat was the forest minister in Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's cabinet. (Image: News18)

Harak Singh Rawat was the forest minister in Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's cabinet. (Image: News18)

Top sources told News18 the party is mulling disciplinary action against Rawat for anti-party activities.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday expelled State Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat from the cabinet for the next six years, the Chief Minister’s office said. Top sources told News18 the party is mulling disciplinary action against Rawat for antiparty activities.

Reports suggest the decision was taken after Rawat met Congress leaders. He is likely to join Congress, sources said.

Rawat was seeking a ticket from Lansdowne assembly seat for his daughter-in-law Anukreethy. The BJP had in December said that Rawat’s reported “resignation” has been addressed and no one is going anywhere. BJP MLA Umesh Sharma Kau had said the issue has been settled with the intervention of the central leadership and Chief Minister.

The Congress had claimed Rawat will come back into its fold as he was not happy with the saffron party and was feeling “suffocated.”

BJP youth wing national secretary and Uttarakhand in-charge Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga had slammed the report and in a tweet said, “Hello Congress, Stop dreaming for Uttarakhand. We are one and United.”

Reports of tensions within the party and speculations were triggered after he left a high-level meeting in a huff after a proposal for a medical college in his assembly constituency Kotdwar was not being cleared by the cabinet.

Both Harak Singh Rawat and Kau were among ten MLAs who had rebelled against Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat in 2016 and crossed over to the BJP.

Rawat’s dismissal comes ahead of the election to the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly, to be held on February 14. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

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first published:January 16, 2022, 23:26 IST