Pushkar Singh Dhami took oath as the eleventh chief minister of Uttarakhand in Dehradun on July 4, 2021. Dhami succeeds Garhwal MP Tirath Singh Rawat, who had resigned recently. Dhami, a two-time MLA from Khatima, is the youngest chief minister of Uttarakhand at the age of 45. His oath of office was administered by Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya. Dhami is the third chief minister of Uttarakhand in four months.
Mr. Rawat had quit citing constitutional reasons, of not seeing his way clear to getting elected as a member of the Assembly in Uttarakhand within the stipulated six month period. He continues to be a Lok Sabha MP from the State.
Background: Mr. Rawat took over as Chief Minister on March 10, 2021 after being chosen by the BJP. As per the Constitution, he had six months, till September 10, to become a member of the Uttarakhand Assembly in order to continue in the post.
According to Election Commission, it had not yet decided on holding by-elections to various Rajya Sabha and Assembly seats that are vacant across the country. The EC had to examine the COVID-19 situation in the States before taking a call.
After the West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Puducherry elections were concluded in May, the EC decided to defer the by-elections for Parliamentary and Assembly seats due to the pandemic.
At the same time, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, mandates that a by-election for any vacancy should be held within six months of that vacancy arising, provided the remainder of the term is not less than one year or the EC and the Centre do not certify that holding the by poll in that time frame is difficult.
With the Uttarakhand Assembly term till March 23, 2022, general elections in the State are less than a year away.