Dehradun: A long-time RSS pracharak, the BJP's Trivendra Singh Rawat, 56, Saturday sworn in as the ninth Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Rawat was sworn in at Dehradun's Parade Ground in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Along with Rawat, nine MLAs including Prakash Pant and Satpal Maharaj, who had joined the party on the eve of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Congress, took oath as Ministers. Pant and Maharaaj both were contenders of the CM post.
The BJP had swept the recently concluded Assembly elections winning 57 of the total 70 seats in the state. Rawat, a member of Amit Shah's core team, played a key role in the party's strategy in the victory.
Trivendra Singh Raway has been at the forefront of the campaign to carve out Uttarakhand from Uttar Pradesh back in nineties.
He was unanimously elected at the party legislature meeting on Friday, his name formally proposed by BJP leader Prakash Pant and seconded by Satpal Maharaj, the two BJP leaders in the race for the top post in the government.
Born in December 1960 into a family where serving in the armed forces was a tradition, with his father Pratap Singh Rawat in Garhwal Rifles, he studied in a school built of mud and thatch in his native village of Khairasain in Pauri Garhwal district. Though average in studies, Rawat evinced keen interest in socio-cultural work at an early age, a fact which explains his joining the RSS aged 19 years.
Six years later he was appointed RSS pracharak for Dehradun city. After an active association with the RSS for nearly 14 years, he was made BJP s organisational secretary. He was also actively associated with the Uttarakhand statehood agitation during which he was arrested several times.
Rawat, who is a post graduate in journalism from Garhwal University's Shrinagar campus, worked for many years as pradesh BJP organisation secretary before being elected for the first time from Doiwala seat in the state s first assembly elections in 2002. Rawat won again in 2007 and was made agriculture minister.
He is the ninth and youngest of his siblings who have still not forgotten their rural roots. One of his elder brothers is the post master of the village post office at Khairasain, while another grows aromatic plants on a piece of land near Jahariyakhal on a commercial scale.