Pushkar Singh Dhami will be administered the oath of office and secrecy as the Uttarakhand Chief Minister tomorrow. Dhami’s swearing-in ceremony as the state’s 12th chief minister will be held at the Parade Ground at 3.30 pm. According to reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders may be present for the swearing-in ceremony.
Dhami was unanimously picked for the post at a legislature party meeting yesterday. Soon after the announcement, Dhami thanked PM Modi and BJP president JP Nadda. “I express my gratitude to PM Narendra Modi, BJP national president JP Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for once again trusting me with the responsibility of ‘Chief Sevak’ of Uttarakhand,” he said in a tweet.
Rajnath Singh, BJP’s central observer for Uttarakhand, cleared Dhami’s name yesterday. Dhami then met Governor Gurmit Singh and staked claim to form the government. Since Dhami had lost the Khatima seat, he now has six months to get elected to the assembly. Several BJP MLAs as well as independents have already offered to resign so that he can contest the bypolls from a vacated seat.
The BJP had won 47 of the 60 assembly seats in the state, becoming the first party ever in Uttarakhand’s 21-year-old history to return to power in consecutive elections. By choosing Dhami, the BJP has broken from its past, picking a leader who lost his own assembly seat to head a state government.
The BJP leadership’s decision to continue with Dhami as the chief minister despite him losing the election is being seen as an attempt to maintain stability in the state heading into the Lok Sabha elections. The party had also entered the election with Dhami as its chief ministerial face. There was also an argument that Dhami delivered victory for the BJP in the state despite very little time in office. The saffron party had trusted Dhami with the CM post after it was forced to change two chief ministers in a soan of just six months. First, Tirath Singh Rawat was replaced by Trivendra Singh Rawat and then Trivendra was replaced by Dhami last year.