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Pokhriyal to be the new CM of Uttarakhand

Last updated on: June 24, 2009 22:30 IST
Ramesh Pokhriyal will be the the new chief minister of Uttarakhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party announced on Wednesday. Pokhriyal was health minister in the B C Khanduri ministry in the state.

The decision was taken after senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party held a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday to resolve the issue.

The 50-year-old Pokhriyal has been a Member of Legislative Assembly four times.

36 party MLAs from the state were summoned to New Delhi on Tuesday, following the resignation of B C Khanduri from the chief ministerial post, who took 'moral responsibility' of the poll debacle BJP encountered during the general elections.

Though M Venkaiah Naidu, former BJP president, claimed that the election of Pokhariyal was unanimous, he did not answer the question then why did it take more then four hours to announce the selection of the new chief minister. 

"He is an excellent administrator, a writer and a poet," Venkaiah said and went on to add that Pokhariyal has the blessings of Advaniji and party president Rajnath Singh.

Nishank entered politics in 1991 and registered three wins in 1991, 93 and 1996 from Karan Prayag Assembly first as part of the UP assembly and later Uttrakhand Assembly. He held the porfolio of finance minister in 2000 and has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Sahitya Gaurav Award from the President.

When asked if it would not send wrong signals in the party that action was taken against Khandori despite owning up the moral responsibility, Nishank said that Bhuvan Chand Khandori would continue to be the real chief minister.

 "I have learnt politics from him. He is a big tree and I am going to work under his direction and shadow," he said.

Asked how he would manage the economy, he said, "Let me take over as the chief minister of the state and then we will chalk out a strategy to improve the finances of our state. Our major resources come from pilgrimage tourism," Pokhariyal said.

Asked what Advani told him, he said, "He asked me to take forward the good work done by General Sahib. And I am going to do that."

Onkar Singh in New Delhi