Trivendra Singh Rawat, a former RSS pracharak, was sworn in as the chief minister of Uttarakhand after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept back to power a landslide majority.
BJP leaders Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda, Shyam Jaju, Saroj Pandey and observer Narendra Singh Tomar announced Rawat as its legislative party leader on Friday, effectively making him the next chief minister of the state. The 56-year-old is said to be close to BJP chief Amit Shah and was one of the three deputies attached to him in Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The swearing-in ceremony took place on March 18 at 3 pm at Parade Grounds in Dehradun for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were present, along with select ministers from the Union government and central office bearers. Party sources told IANS that six ministers were also likely to be sworn in with Rawat.
The BJP won 57 of the hill state’s 70-member state assembly to wrest power from the Congress, which managed to win only 11 in the assembly elections.
Following are the live updates from the swearing-in ceremony:
Swearing-in ceremony concludes. A total of nine ministers take oath, including seven cabinet ministers and two ministers of state.
3.05 pm: Trivendra Singh Rawat takes oath as chief minister of Uttarakhand at the Parade Grounds in Uttarakhand.
Satpal Maharaj, Prakash Pant, Madan Kaushik, Yashpal Arya, Arvind Arya, Subodh Uniyal, swear in as cabinet ministers.
Of the nine ministers who took oath, five were previously with the Congress party.
2.45 pm: Outgoing CM Harish Rawat also reaches the Parade Ground to attend the swearing-in ceremony. His predecessors Vijay Bahuguna, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and BC Khanduriji are also present.
2.30 pm: PM Narendra Modi reaches Dehradun airport. He was received by CM-designate Trivendra Singh Rawat and state governor KK Paul. BJP national president Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Uma Bharti, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, union MoS VK Singh, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also reaches to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
The Prime Minister reached Dehradun where he will attend the oath taking ceremony of Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat. pic.twitter.com/rlmIpYMWJJ— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 18, 2017
1.30 pm: Sources say that a senior party leader Satpal Maharaj was unhappy that he was not considered for the chief minister’s post. When reporters met him today, he ducked the question of whether he would like to be a minister.
1.00 pm: According to sources, these MLAs are expected to take oath today as cabinet ministers: Rekha Arya, Dhan Singh Rawat, Satpal Maharaj, Prakash Pant, Harak Singh Rawat, Yashpal Arya, Subodh Uniyal, Bishan Singh Chupal and Arvind Pandey.
12.50 pm: Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Uttarakhand’s CM-designate Trivendra Singh Rawat pays tribute at the ‘Saheed Isthal’ in Dehradun, set up in the memory of those who were killed during separate statehood movement in 1994.
The 56-year-old Rawat, known to be close to BJP chief Amit Shah, emerged as the frontrunner in Uttarakhand from a pool of at least six names. In an interview with HT, he said that he has a “single point agenda – development.
“People are struggling for basic amenities even after 16 years of the formation of Uttarakhand. The condition of schools, health facilities, roads is pathetic. Besides, there is a lack of employment opportunities,” he said