Express News Service
DEHRADUN: After a day of drama with rumours of the removal of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat flying thick and fast, all eyes are on New Delhi. BJP sources on Sunday hinted that Rawat’s position is not safe yet. He is expected to meet senior party leaders in Delhi to discuss the issue.“Central observers Dr Raman Singh and Dushyant Kumar Gautam met the CM, all MPs, many MLAs, cabinet ministers and the Union Education Minister separately.
They will share their feedback with senior party leaders in Delhi, based on which a decision will be taken. We can assume this is not over yet and CM Rawat’s fate is hanging by a thread,” said a party member privy to developments. Sources said that the observers also met RSS functionaries of the state. “Raman Singh ji has asked me to meet in Delhi to discuss the issue further.
We both agreed to meet in Delhi soon,” Rawat was quoted saying. Insiders revealed that after the CM left the meeting of the core group on Saturday, he prepared 22 MLAs to meet the central observers as a ‘show of strength’. BJP’s national vice-president and central observer Singh met the MLAs at CM’s official residence after the meeting of the core group. Later, this number swelled to 45.
The CM termed the congregation of MLAs at his official residence a discussion on what would be done on March 18, when the BJP government in the state completes four years. “In a small state like Uttarakhand, number games really matter. In the 2012 Assembly elections, the party (BJP) got 31 seats and Congress 32. Congress formed the government with the support of others including one MLA of Uttarakhand Kranti Dal. So the central leadership does not want to take chances,” said another party insider.
Yogesh Kumar, a political analyst based in Dehradun, said: “Uttarakhand has been a political laboratory for BJP. To weaken the Congress in 2016, BJP welcomed eight defectors from Congress. All of them won in the 2017 Assembly elections. Many of them were rewarded with Cabinet berths. Only three Cabinet seats including that of the CM went to leaders of BJP. We witnessed the same in Madhya Pradesh.”