Dehradun: The announcement of former Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat not contesting the upcoming assembly elections has dealt a blow to the BJP in the state. In a letter to BJP president JP Nadda, Rawat said he does not want to contest the elections under the “current political circumstances” but will work towards the return of the party to power.
The party was all set to field Rawat, MLA from Doiwala constituency, in the elections to be held on February 14.
“There has been a change of leadership in the party and the state has got youth leadership in Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. I should not contest elections in changed political circumstances. I had informed about my intention not to contest earlier also,” Rawat wrote in his letter to Nadda on January 18.
“I want to devote all my time to ensure that the BJP returns to power under the leadership of Pushkar Singh Dhami. I urge you to consider my request not to contest the elections,” the letter said.
According to Rawat, he had recently met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda in New Delhi and spoke about not contesting the elections. His request was accepted by Shah and Nadda, after which he wrote a letter to the party president.
Trivendra Singh Rawat confirmed that the party leadership was aware of his wishes. “I have already mentioned in the letter what is the reason for my reluctance. The party leadership was aware of my desire, as I had spoken to the national president earlier also. Party chief JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah accepted my views while reiterating my views at a meeting in Delhi on January 17,” the former CM said.
Rawat said he would campaign for the party. “I will work wholeheartedly for the organization to ensure the return of the BJP to power under the leadership of Pushkar Singh Dhami,” he said.
Rawat, however, denied that the party leadership had promised to accept any of his demands. “I am not the one who will ask for a post from the party unless the leadership itself finds me good enough. There is a lot of work to be done, even when I am not an MLA,” Rawat said.
Sources in the BJP told ThePrint on condition of anonymity that Rawat was not very keen on contesting the elections since he was removed as Uttarakhand chief minister in March 2021. said.
Confirming this, Uttarakhand BJP leaders said that Rawat was preparing for elections in Doiwala, which is adjacent to Dehradun and Rishikesh, if the BJP had nominated him against his wishes.
Trivendra Singh Rawat was once the most trusted hand of Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the state when the party registered a landslide victory in the 2017 assembly elections.
His proximity to Shah and Modi helped him become CM after the elections, but he was asked to step down by the BJP leadership in March 2021.
Speaking to ThePrint in August last year, Rawat said that a day before Lok Sabha MP Tirath Singh Rawat’s nomination as chief minister, JP Nadda had asked him to resign. Trivendra Rawat had said that no reason was given for his removal.
Tirath Singh himself was removed from the post of CM after four months and was replaced by Pushkar Singh Dhami in July 2021.
Party leaders in Dehradun claim that the reason for Trivendra Rawat’s exit as chief minister was the constant protest against him by the state Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) unit. This is despite the fact that he himself was once an RSS pracharak.
Furthermore, leaders say that the BJP leadership in Delhi was under pressure from the priests of the Char Dham shrines, who strongly criticized the government’s decision to form the Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board in 2019 to control the four temples of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath. was opposed. and Kedarnath, and the temples associated with them.
The Uttarakhand government had in November last year announced the withdrawal of the Char Dham Devasthanam Board Act.