Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat resigned late on Friday night, less than four months after taking over, and hours after holding a press conference to talk about the achievements of his government.
Rawat reached Raj Bhavan at around 11 pm with Cabinet colleagues and handed over his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya, citing the constitutional provision requiring him to get elected to the Assembly within six months, and the unlikelihood of that. He had met BJP president J.P. Nadda Friday, for the second time in three days, to discuss the political crisis and his election to the state assembly before 10 September. Speaking to media persons after submitting his resignation, Rawat thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda for trusting him with the post. “Considering the constitutional crisis… I found it appropriate to resign,” he said. Rawat is facing Constitutional issues regarding his elevation — the chief minister is a Lok Sabha MP and has to get elected to the state assembly before 10 September to retain his post.
To hold bypolls at this time would be a tough decision for the Election Commission after the massive controversy over the March-April election in five states, held alongside rising virus cases in the second surge. The Uttarakhand BJP legislature party is set to meet Saturday to elect its new leader, who will be later sworn in as the next chief minister of the state where assembly elections are due early next year.