Who will be the next Uttarakhand CM? BJP legislature meeting to decide on Monday
The swearing-in ceremony for the new Uttarakhand cabinet is expected to take place on Tuesday and top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are expected to be present.
All eyes are set on the BJP legislature party as it will decide the new chief minister of Uttarakhand in a crucial meeting on Monday. The fate of incumbent Pushkar Dhami, who lost his seat from Khatima in the recently-held assembly polls despite the saffron party's victory in the state, will also be revealed in that meeting.
The BJP is expected to send its central leadership including Union minister Rajnath Singh and MoS Meenakshi Lekhi for the meeting. The leaders may arrive a day earlier or on the same day, state BJP spokesman Shadab Shams told PTI.
Notably, Dhami handed his resignation and that of his cabinet to Governor Lt Gen (retd) Gurmit Singh soon after the poll results. Although he continues to be the frontrunner for the post, other probable names doing the rounds include Chaubattakhal MLA Satpal Maharaj, Shrinagar MLA Dhan Singh Rawat and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni.
Dhami may be repeated as chief minister because of his young age. He may also retain his post because the BJP has already drawn a lot of flak for changing two chief ministers in quick succession.
It is also noteworthy that the party had contested the polls in his name and recorded a big win, sources in the BJP's state unit told PTI.
"If Keshav Prasad Maurya who lost his seat in Uttar Pradesh can be made deputy CM again why can't Dhami be made chief minister?" a BJP leader, requesting anonymity, said.
However, if the party goes for a new face, the necessity of striking a caste and regional balance will be a deciding factor in the choice of the next chief minister, the sources said.
The swearing-in ceremony for the new cabinet is likely to take place on Tuesday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda along with chief ministers of several BJP-governed states are expected to attend the event.
The new cabinet is likely to consist of more young faces and more women.
(With agency inputs)