Trouble seems to be mounting for BJP's Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat after sources reported on Saturday, that top BJP leaders are mulling a change in leadership in the state. Sources state that top observers like Dushyant Gautam and Raman Singh have been rushed to the state as several MLAs have reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with Rawat. Moreover, the budget session has been cut-short abruptly today, with CM Rawat too rushing to meet senior BJP leaders arriving in Dehradun.
Sources state that senior BJP leaders like general secretary Suresh Bhat, Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni are front runners for the CM post. With Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, ex-BJP state chiefs Ajay Bhatt and Tirath Singh Rawat attending the meeting, CM Rawat's work is likely to be reviewed. Sources add that many groups within the BJP, several officers are miffed with CM Rawat.
Rawat has faced backlash over the recent flash floods which destroyed NTPC's Rishiganga Hydropower Project, another under-construction project and cut off access to 13 villages. A report by Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) states that heavy precipitation in the Chamoli region from February 4-6 and an overall rise in temperature in Uttarakhand in the last four decades could have led to the rock collapse which triggered the floods. So far 72 bodies and 30 human body parts have been recovered, while 132 persons still remain missing.
While Border Roads Organisation (BRO) rebuilt a bridge in Uttarakhand within record 8 days to restore connectivity to 13 villages, the Opposition has been calling for the CM's resignation. Moreover, the Supreme Court recently stayed a CBI probe ordered by the Uttarakhand High Court into Trivendra Rawat for allegations of corruption levelled against him for alleged money transfers to accounts of his relatives in 2016 to back a particular individual to head the Jharkhand Gau Seva Ayog. The HC also quashed the FIR against the journalist Umesh Kumar Sharma - who had accused the CM who was then Jharkhand in-charge of the BJP of alleged corruption.
Since the formation of the hilly state from Uttar Pradesh in 2000, both BJP and Congress which have ruled the state have often changed their CMs, resulting in their electoral loss in the next election. As per reports, Nityanand Swami, who was the state's first CM was replaced with Bhagat Singh Koshyari in 2002. On coming to power, Congress chose Narayan Dutt Tiwari - who completed his full term. In 2007, 2009 and 2011, BJP had two CMs Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri and Ramesh Pokhriyal. Similarly, after the 2013 Kedarnath flash-floods, Congress replaced CM Vijay Bahuguna with Harish Rawat leading to its loss in 2017. Uttarakhand is set to go to polls in 2022.