DEHRADUN: MLA Madan Kaushik, who was blamed by many for CM Pushkar Singh Dhami’s defeat and has now been replaced by Mahendra Bhatt as Uttarakhand BJP president, is likely to be inducted in the state Cabinet, as per party sources.
On Saturday, the Central party leadership announced Bhatt, who lost the last Assembly elections, as the new chief of the state party unit.
“The party has decided to go with a non-member of the state legislative Assembly. In 2019, Kaladhungi MLA Basidhar Bhagat was given the command of the party and later in 2021 it was Kaushik,” a source in the party told The New Indian.
“Now, Kaushik will be inducted in the Cabinet. However, portfolio still remains a mystery,” the party source added.
Bhatt represented Badrinath constituency of Chamoli district in the state Assembly.
Sources in BJP said Kaushik was needed in the state government and blamed “internal tussle” for delay in his induction.
“Now, he will get his due and his deserving place in the state Cabinet. Many in the party are surprised by the move,” said a senior party leader.
As the state BJP chief, Kaushik, the MLA from Haridwar, played a key role in the BJP’s electoral victory in the 2022.
Sources familiar with the party developments said that Kaushik was not inducted into the Cabinet earlier because of chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s defeat from Khatima constituency.
Interestingly, in May this year, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, while addressing a rally in support of Dhami in the Champawat bypolls, hinted an internal sabotage in Khatima.
“During Uttarakhand elections, I was supposed to come for some public meetings. But suddenly my meeting scheduled for Khatima was cancelled and my time was rescheduled for Tehri, Kotdwar and other places. Due to Prime Minister’s programme in Rudrapur, I wasn’t able to visit Khatima. I felt deep in my heart that if we would have gone to Khatima, the picture would have been different altogether,” Yogi had said.
Many had pointed out that the decision was taken on the organisational levels involving Kaushik as the incumbent BJP president of Uttarakhand.
A party committee, in its report on the 2022 Assembly polls, concluded that CM Dhami lost the election due to factionalism and internal sabotage.
Later, Dhami won Champawat seat by record margins scoring 93 per cent of total votes in by-elections in June this year.