Tirath Singh Rawat, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, submitted his resignation to the governor on Friday, just four months after taking office and just months before the state’s elections next year.
A day after giving in his resignation Rawat stated that he is confident that BJP will win again in state elections which are to be held next year.
“Given all the constitutional crisis, I felt it was a right for me to resign. Bypolls cannot be held due to COVID-19,” he said in a brief statement in Hindi.
The ruling party urged Tirath Rawat, who had been in Delhi for three days for discussions with the BJP leadership, to resign Wednesday afternoon. He sought an appointment with Governor Baby Rani Maurya soon after. However, he handed in his papers to his party’s leader, JP Nadda, before meeting with the Governor.
Uttarakhand’s BJP MLAs will meet tomorrow to elect a new leader.
Mr Rawat was appointed in as Chief Minister in March, little over a year before the Uttarakhand poll, amid heated opposition to his predecessor, Trivendra Rawat.
Mr Rawat, who is an MP, will have to win an assembly seat and become a member of the Uttarakhand legislative assembly by September 10 in order to keep his job.
“There are many by-elections due and the COVID-19 situation is also a major consideration,” Election Commission sources had said this yesterday morning.
Tirath Rawat’s short tenure was marred by controversy. Uttarakhand BJP officials had complained to the Delhi leadership about popular outrage over some of his statements.
Mr Rawat even made his party seem bad by attacking his predecessor’s policy choices.
Mr Rawat made widely ridiculed remarks about women wearing ripped jeans shortly after taking office. He also claimed that the United States, not the United Kingdom, dominated India for 200 years.
His management of the Kumbh Mela during the peak of the COVID-19 rise, as well as his remark that “no RT-PCR test was required,” sparked outrage.
According to sources, the BJP chose to reduce its losses even if it meant projecting chaos in the hill state.