In a surprise move on Friday night, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat submitted his resignation to state governor Baby Rani Maurya nearly four months after assuming the top post in the Himalayan state.
According to the reports, Tirath Singh Rawat reached the Governor House around 11 pm on Friday and submitted his resignation papers. Earlier, he held a press conference to inform that he would be meeting Governor Baby Rani Maurya on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Tirath Singh Rawat had met BJP party leadership amidst the speculations over leadership change in Uttarakhand. His resignation comes amidst a lack of clarity over the Election Commission announcing by-elections in Haldwani and Gangotra – the two vacant seats.
Constitutional crisis in Uttarakhand
Tirath Singh Rawat, a BJP MP, needs to be elected as an MLA in the next two months. However, observers in the BJP feel that EC may not order a by-poll for the vacant seats in Uttarakhand as the term of Uttarakhand Assembly is scheduled to come to an end in March, which is just nine months away.
To avoid the constitutional crisis, Tirath Singh Rawat has stepped down from his post as Chief Minister, and the BJP intends to elect a sitting MLA for the post of Chief Minister this time. Reportedly, the names of senior BJP leaders – Satpal Maharaj, Banshidar Bhagat, Harak Singh Rawat and Dhan Singh Rawat are doing the rounds as probable replacements for Rawat.
The BJP plans to elect a new legislature head at a party meeting scheduled to be held on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Uttarakhand BJP will also hold its legislature party meeting on Saturday. State BJP president Madan Kaushik will chair the meeting, state BJP media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan said. All party MLAs have been asked to attend the meeting, he added. With inputs from Opindia