Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's journey: From ABVP to 2nd term in Uttarakhand
- Dhami was a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh before coming into mainstream politics
- He served as the president of BJP’s Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha for two consecutive terms
- In the 2022 assembly elections, Dhami contested the Khatima assembly seat of Uttarakhand and lost to Congress' Bhuwan Chandra Kapri
Pushkar Singh Dhami took oath as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on Wednesday and retained his position after the Bharatiya Janta Party won the recent Assembly elections in the state. The ceremony was at the Parade Ground, Dehradun.
Dhami was groomed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh before coming into mainstream politics. After almost three decades of his association with RSS as a volunteer, the ideological guide of BJP, he ascended to the top position of the Uttarakhand state assembly.
Dhami started his political career as a worker of the Sangh’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He had worked as an ABVP leader between 1990 and 1999 while studying at the Lucknow University before the state of Uttarakhand was formed. Dhami’s first official assignment came in 2002 when he was appointed by the state’s second chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari, as his officer on special duty (OSD).
In 2002, as BJP lost the first state elections, he became the first president of Uttarakhand BJP’s Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) for two consecutive terms from 2002-2008. Even during his ABVP and BJYM tenures, Dhami worked as a regular RSS volunteer in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
He was first elected to the state assembly in 2012. In 2017, he defeated Bhuwan Kapri of the Congress, who is considered close to the Gandhi family, and a heavyweight politician locally.
In the 2022 assembly elections, Dhami contested the Khatima assembly seat in the Kumaon region of the state but he lost to Bhuwan Chandra Kapri of Congress.
In a surprise move, on Thursday, the 46-year-old was appointed CM of Uttarakhand by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The party was forced to choose a new chief minister in just four months after a “constitutional crisis” pushed Tirath Singh Rawat to quit.
Last week, Dhami was summoned to Delhi by the BJP leadership. He was apprised about the decision of the party by BJP president JP Nadda. He also met Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah.
Dhami is a well-respected politician among his peers. His main challenge will be to run the government with little administrative experience and cut down the menace of the short tenure of chief ministers.
“None of the nearly 57 MLAs present in the legislative meeting opposed his candidature when it was revealed by Union minister and central observer Narendra Singh Tomar,” a senior party leader, who didn’t wish to be named, was quoted as saying by The Print.