Uttrakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri has resigned more than a month after Bharatiya Janata Party's rout in the Lok Sabha election in the state and mounting dissidence against him.
75-year-old Khanduri gave his resignation to party chief Rajnath Singh on Monday night after a meeting of senior leaders at the residence of L K Advani when it was decided to replace him.
A meeting of the BJP legislature party has been called in New Delhi on Wednesday to elect a successor to Khanduri amidst reports that two ministers in his cabinet, Prakash Pant (Tourism and Parliamentary Affairs) and Ramesh Pokhriyal (Health) are said to be in the race for the top post.
"Khanduri had taken moral responsibility for the party's defeat in the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttrakhand and had offered to resign which has been accepted," Singh told PTI.
The Chief Minister, a former Major General and a former Union minister who took office in March 2007 after BJP won the elections but managed to get a majority on its own only after the Lok Sabha debacle by winning an assembly by-election, has sent his resignation to the Governor.
The decision to replace Khanduri came after a patch-up with dissident leader B S Koshiyari who had last week taken back his resignation from the Rajya Sabha after assurances that his demand for removal of the Chief Minister would be considered.
Singh said Koshiyari, former Chief Minister, has given an assurance that he will work to strengthen the party.
When asked whether Koshiyari will replace him, he said "Koshiyari had called me and offered to work to strengthen the party."