Dehradun: Uttarakhand’s new Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday (March 12) expanded his Cabinet, inducting 11 ministers who were sworn in by the state governor. Governor Baby Rani Maurya administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers in a simple function at the Raj Bhavan.

Earlier on March 10, Chief Minister Rawat had been sworn in all alone. Barring the newly-appointed state BJP president Madan Kaushik, all other state ministers during former Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s term have been made ministers in the new government.

Besides the old ministers, four new faces have also been inducted into TS Rawat’s council of ministers.

Out of 11 newly inducted ministers, eight have been made Cabinet ministers and three state ministers with independent charges. 

Tirath Singh Rawat meets his guru BC Khanduri

A day after taking oath as the new chief minister of Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat on Thursday met his political mentor and state’s former CM, Gen (Retd) BC Khanduri, and sought his blessings. Rawat said Khanduri has been his idol and like a father.

Rawat said he has reached this stage only due to what he learnt from Khanduri and imbibed his ideals. Khanduri, however, interrupted him, saying “Imbibing ideals is fine but he has got a lot of flak from him?.”

To this, the new chief minister replied, “I indeed have often been rapped but one gets rebuked only by a person who considers you one of his own. Kids often get chided.”

Expressing happiness over Rawat becoming the chief minister, Khanduri described the new CM as a ‘dedicated worker’ and himself “lucky” that he got in touch with good people like Tirath Singh Rawat after joining politics from the Army.

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On Thursday, the new Chief Minister sought the holy Ganga’s blessings for the well-being of the people of his state after showering flower petals on seers taking holy dips in the river on the occasion of ‘shahi snan’ on Maha Shivratri.

Rawat said it was the first ‘shahi snan’ at Haridwar Kumbh and to make it special, all the sages and saints were showered with flowers.

The saints looked happy, said the new chief minister, who was welcomed and felicitated by the Ganga Sabha officials with the holy river water, a shawl and the prasad.  Rawat said devotees had begun gathering at the riverbank since the night itself to take a holy dip in the Ganges on Mahashivaratri.

Rawat said there was no restriction for the public visiting Haridwar Kumbh and none would be imposed, but the people must follow all the anti-Covid guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. 

(With Agency Inputs) 

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