Dehradun, Mar 18: Trivendra Singh Rawat, former RSS pracharak, was Saturday sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, the Himalayan state where BJP captured the power with a landslide majority.
The BJP won 57 of the hill state’s 70-member state assembly to wrest power from the Congress, which managed to win only 11 in the assembly elections.
The swearing-in ceremony took place on March 18 at 3 pm at Parade Grounds in Dehradun for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were present, along with select ministers from the Union cabinet and BJP's central office bearers.
Along with Trivendra Singh, nine others took oath as ministers. They are Satpal Maharaj, Prakash Pant, Madan Kaushik, Yashpal Arya, Arvind Arya, Subodh Uniyal, Dhan Singh Rawat, Rekha Arya and Harak Singh Rawat.
A total of nine ministers took oath including seven cabinet ministers and two ministers of state. Among them, four have joined the BJP from the Congress before the elections.
Governor K K Paul administered the oath of office and secrecy to the chief minister and other ministers at the function held at Parade Ground here in the afternoon.
The Prime Minister congratulated the new Chief Minister and wished him all the success.
After the ceremony, PM Modi tweets, “Will return the tremendous affection shown by the people of the state with record development.”
Senior BJP leaders Dharmendra Pradhan, JP Nadda, Shyam Jaju, Saroj Pandey and observer Narendra Singh Tomar announced Rawat as its legislative party leader on Friday, effectively making him the next chief minister of the state.
The 56-year-old Trivendra Singh Rawat is said to be close to BJP chief Amit Shah and was one of the three deputies attached to him in Uttar Pradesh during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Outgoing CM Harish Rawat, his predecessors Vijay Bahuguna, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and BC Khanduriji were also present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received at the Dehradun Airport by Chief Minister-designate Trivendra Singh Rawat and Governor K K Paul. Besides, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister V K Singh, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya attended the ceremony.
Before the swearing-in, Trivendra Singh paid tributes to martyrs at the ‘Shaheed Sthal’ in Dehradun. The Shaheed Sthal is set up in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in the separate statehood movement in 1994.
The 56-year-old Rawat, known to be close to BJP chief Amit Shah, emerged as the frontrunner in Uttarakhand from a pool of at least six names. In an interview, he said that he has a “single point agenda – development”.
“People are struggling for basic amenities even after 16 years of the formation of Uttarakhand. The condition of schools, health facilities, roads is pathetic. Besides, there is a lack of employment opportunities,” he said.