U’khand: Sudden assembly of BJP core group fuels hypothesis about main change in govt

Dehradun, March 7 

A sudden meeting of the Uttarakhand BJP’s core committee has fuelled speculations about some major changes in the government.

The meeting, held on Saturday evening, was presided over by BJP’s national vice president and former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, who arrived here on Saturday afternoon. Singh was accompanied by state BJP in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam.

The unscheduled meeting with the members of the core group came at a time when the budget session of the state assembly was underway in Gairsain.

The BJP MLAs were called back from Gairsain to the state capital given the core committee meeting held amid ongoing speculations in the media about a cabinet expansion.

The sudden meeting of the core committee for which Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had to fly back to Dehradun in a hurry from Gairsain assumed significance.

Core group members — Rajya Sabha member Naresh Bansal, Tehri MP Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah, former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, Nainital MP Ajay Bhatt, cabinet minister Madan Kaushik, minister of state Dhan Singh Rawat, state BJP general secretary Ajeya Kumar, among others — attended the meeting, which went on for over two hours.

Raman Singh talked separately to each member of the core group to get feedback from them. He also went to the chief minister’s official residence where around 40 party MLAs had gathered. He also visited the RSS office here after the core committee meeting.

Another member of the core group Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also met Singh at Jollygrant airport late in the evening.

The urgency with which the developments took place gave rise to speculations that a leadership change was likely in the state.

However, state BJP president Bansidhar Bhagat said the core group meeting discussed celebrations to be held in 70 assembly constituencies in the state on March 18 to mark the completion of the BJP government’s four years in office.

He said there was no leadership change likely in the state and there was no resentment among party MLAs.

However, party sources said nothing could be said for sure at the moment. PTI

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