Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tirath Singh Rawat was sworn-in as the chief minister of Uttarakhand on Wednesday, a day after his predecessor, Trivendra Singh Rawat, tendered his resignation from the post. Tirath Singh Rawat, Lok Sabha MP from Garhwal and a former state BJP chief, was administered oath of office by Governor Baby Rani Maurya at the Raj Bhavan.
Those who know the 56-year-old leader closely consider him one who may not be as flamboyant as his peers but makes himself heard when he needs to.
In May 2014, when BJP swept all the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand, it was Tirath Singh Rawat who had demanded then chief minister Harish Rawat from Congress resign owning moral responsibility for the Congress’ rout in the state.
“With the Congress totally demolished in Uttarakhand, the chief minister has no moral authority to continue in office. I demand that he should resign on moral grounds,” then Pradesh BJP president Tirath Singh Rawat had told reporters.
He had said the chief minister should draw inspiration from former BJP CM Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, who had resigned after BJP lost 0-5 to the Congress in 2009 general election. Rawat was considered to be a close confidant of Khanduri.
He is currently a BJP MP and was the party chief in Uttarakhand from 2013 to 2015 and also an MLA from the state in the past.
Rawat has been an RSS pracharak from 1983 to 1988 along with being an MLC (member of legislative council) in undivided UP in 1997.
He was also the first education minister of Uttarakhand in Nityanand Swamy’s government in 2000 and MLA from Chaubttakhal constituency from 2012 to 2017.
The 56-year-old was one of the three deputies Union Home Minister Amit Shah worked with, in Uttar Pradesh, before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In August 2018, Rawat, without naming anyone, had found himself in a controversy when he took on Ajit Doval’s son Shaurya.
In a comment that was considered a veiled attack, Rawat, without naming Doval directly, said, “I don’t need posters which have been put up at government expense to tell voters about my credentials as I have represented the constituency a number of times, including as an MLC in UP assembly way back in 1998.”
Shaurya Doval had then put up his NGO posters across the region.