Explained: Major controversies, reversal of decisions that marked the 114-day tenure of Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat
Tirath Singh Rawat’s tenure as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand – which lasted only 114 days – was riddled with controversy over his remarks as well as the overturning of decisions taken by his predecessor Trivendra Singh Rawat who resigned in March after leading the state government for four years. BJP leaders justified these reversals by correcting the “mistakes” that had cost Trivendra his job.
A look at the various stages of the previous state government that were overthrown by Tirath Singh Rawat while he was at the helm:
Suspension of Gairsain’s move
A few days after the swearing-in, the Tirath cabinet suspended Trivendra’s decision to declare the state summer capital of Gairsain as the third administrative division of the state after Garhwal and Kumaon.
While suspending the decision on the new police station, the Tirath cabinet had invoked âpublic sentimentsâ. The opposition to power generated in the Kumaon region following the announcement was one of the reasons given by the party while demanding the resignation of Trivendra.
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Char Dham Devasthanam Board Reviews
At a meeting of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and saints at Haridwar Kumbh in April, Tirath announced a review of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam council formed by Trivendra on January 15 last year.
Four important shrines including Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamuntori and various other temples were placed under the responsibility of the council. Priests and pandas from different shrines and temples and members of the VHP had demanded to abolish the board of directors and release the temples from government control.
Within the state’s 12-member council of ministers, two ministerial posts have remained vacant since the government was formed in 2017 and another became vacant after the death of Finance Minister Prakash Pant in 2019. Despite repeated requests of deputies, Trivendra did not increase. cabinet and held with it the portfolios of more than 50 departments.
Two days after replacing Trivendra, the new CM Tirath completed the Council of Ministers.
Withdrawal of cases under the Outbreak Law
Tirath, in his very first cabinet meeting, decided to withdraw all cases recorded during the lockdown under the Epidemic Disease Law and Disaster Management Law for violating Covid-19 guidelines. About 4,500 such cases were filed statewide under the Trivendra regime. Many cases involved BJP workers, congressional leaders and migrants who had returned during the lockdown.
Government anniversary celebrations canceled
The Tirath government had canceled the celebrations Trivendra had decided to hold in the 70 Assembly constituencies on March 18 with a theme – ‘baaten kam-kaam jyada‘- to mark the completion of four years of his government in the state. Trivendra had announced a main event to be held in his constituency of Doiwala where Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was invited as the main guest. Last month Tirath published a booklet – ‘Seva, samarpan aur vishwas ke 100 din ‘, at the end of the 100 days of this mandate.
The government of Tirath had also issued an order to relieve those appointed by Trivendra as presidents, vice-presidents, members, advisers in various commissions, councils and societies with ministerial rank. Tirath has not made any new appointments for these posts.
Char Dham Yatra
Last week, the Tirath government announced a two-phase schedule for opening Char Dham yatra, despite a High Court stay on the cabinet decision the government took on June 25 to open the yatra. The government then changed its decision and hanging the yatra until the next orders citing the court order.
The controversial words of Tirath Singh Rawat
‘Modi like Ram, Krishna’
Four days after taking the oath, Rawat, at an event in Haridwar, compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Lord Rama and Krishna and said that Modi will be admired as Ram and Krishna in the future. He further said that in modern times, world leaders in turn lined up to get a photo clicked with Modi, unlike before when the Prime Minister and President of India stood on the sidelines and could not move.
âIt’s because of Modijiâ¦ I often say that Ram and Krishna were in Dwapar and Treta Yuga and Ram had also worked for the company, so he was admired like a god. In times to come, we will admire Narendra Modi in the same form because of the work Prime Minister Narendra Modi is doing in the country, âRawat said.
Row of ripped jeans
Two days later, during a workshop organized by the State Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Rawat claimed that women wearing ripped jeans sent the wrong message to society and children. Expressing his outrage, Rawat described in detail the attire of a woman who had once traveled on a flight in the seat next to his, before questioning her values.
“Jab unki taraf dekha at neeche gumboot they, jab aur upar dekha at ghutne fatey they, haath dekhe at kai kade theyâ¦ Bachhey told me unke they. Maine kaha behan ji kahan jana haiâ¦ Delhi jana hai, mari kahan haiâ¦ JNU me teacher hain, tum kya karti hoâ¦ main ek NGO chalati hun. NGO chalati hain, ghutne fatey dikhte hain, samaj ke beech me jaati ho, bachhey saath me hain, kya sanskar dogi? (She wore boots, ripped jeans at the knees, and several bracelets. She had two children who traveled with her. Her husband is a professor at JNU. You run an NGO, wear ripped jeans at your knees, you move around society, the children are with you, what values ââare you going to teach?) â, he declared. After a huge backlash, Rawat had to apologize.
“You produced 2, why envy those who have 20, more rations? “
In Nainital on March 21, Rawat said people with fewer “units (family members)” ended up receiving fewer government rations during the Covid-19 lockdown compared to those who “reproduced them. 20 â, creatingâ jealousy â, saying it was their fault for not happening enough. To say that the difference in the distribution of rations between families had created “jalan (jealousy) â, Rawat remarked,ââ¦ that I have two family members, so I have 10 kg, those with 20 units have a quintal. But whose fault is it? Whoever reproduced 20 got a quintal, you only reproduced two. Why the jealousy about it? When there was time, you only reproduced two, why not 20?
“The United States enslaved us for 200 years”
At the same event in Nainital, Rawat praised Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to fight Covid-19, comparing them to those in the United States, which he said had “enslaved” India for “200 years. “. The entire speech, which was broadcast live on Rawat’s personal Facebook account, was later withdrawn. But the damage had already been done since the opposition had started to question the CM’s remark on Indian history.
Kumbh Mela controversy
As other states explored containment measures following a new wave of Covid-19 cases, CM Rawat insisted that the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar be “open to all”. When officers quoted the Centre’s guidelines, Tirath said he would respond to Prime Minister Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President JP Nadda about it.
On his third visit to Haridwar as CM on March 20, Rawat said his government had completely deleted ‘rok tok ‘ (impediments) to attend the Kumbh Mela. However, he maintained that the Covid-19 guidelines should be followed.