Uttarakhand: Harak Singh Rawat Dismissed From Cabinet, Expelled From BJP

A party spokesperson said that Rawat has been in touch with the Congress to return to that party, adding that he was expelled for "anti-party activities".

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New Delhi: Harak Singh Rawat was on Sunday dismissed from the state cabinet and expelled from the primary membership of the BJP for six years for “anti-party activities”, ahead of the state’s assembly elections next month.

Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has also written to the governor about the removal of Rawat from the cabinet, sources said.

Rawat has been dismissed from the cabinet by Dhami and also expelled from the primary membership of the party for six years, state BJP spokesman Shadab Shams told PTI in Dehradun.

Shams said Rawat’s expulsion shows that the BJP does not tolerate indiscipline and does not bow to pressure of any kind.

Rawat, who represents the Kotdwar seat in the state assembly, is said to have been seeking a ticket for his daughter-in-law Anukriti Gusain from the Lansdowne constituency and a change of seat for himself.

The sources in the BJP also said that for some time now, there have been reports of Rawat being unhappy with the BJP leadership.

He has also been in touch with the Congress to return to that party, they said, adding that among other reasons, the BJP expelled him for anti-party activities.

Rawat was in the news recently when he threatened to resign from the state cabinet insisting on his demand for a medical college in Haridwar. He is currently in Delhi.

According to the Times of India, both Rawat and his daughter-in-law Anukriti are likely to join the Congress on Monday. Before Uttarakhand was carved out of UP, Rawat was a minister in the UP government in the 90s, the newspaper reported.

Elections in Uttarakhand will be held on February 14. The votes will be counted on March 10, along with those cast in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Punjab and Goa.

In Uttar Pradesh too, the BJP has been rocked by a series of defections – three ministers are among a dozen MLAs who have quit the saffron party. Most of them have joined the Samajwadi Party, which is the BJP’s primary rival in that state.

(With PTI inputs)