By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 22 Sep: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh, while speaking informally with media persons on his return to Dehradun from Delhi, denied that he discussed a cabinet reshuffle or the political situation in Uttarakhand with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He ignored the questions regarding a possible cabinet expansion or reshuffle, and merely responded with a smile. However, when asked what discussions he did have with Home Minister Amit Shah, Dhami said that the discussion was held on disaster management and police modernisation. He emphasised that the Centre has agreed to help the state in construction of new Police buildings, too. He added that he had urged the Union Home Minister to fund the construction of a disaster research centre in Uttarakhand.
However, soon after his return from Delhi, the CM held a meeting with BJP state in charge Dushyant Gautam, State President Mahendra Bhatt and State General Secretary (Organisation) Ajaey Kumar at the Secretariat here today. The party leaders are understood to have discussed the prevailing political scenario in the state and possible future steps that the government and the party need to take. Sources claim that some major political changes and cabinet reshuffle were also discussed. Dhami is also understood to have briefed the party leaders on his discussion with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and what Shah might have asked the state government to do in the current political situation. The meeting lasted more than an hour.
If sources are to be believed, some major changes are likely to happen during the Navratri period between 26 September and 5 October. Meanwhile, in an interaction with some selected media persons in Delhi, Dhami is learnt to have stated that appointments made in violation of rules in Vidhan Sabha Secretariat ought to be cancelled. Of course, he reminded the media persons that this is the domain of Assembly Speaker Ritu Khanduri but expressing his opinion on the subject is an indication of things to come. It may be recalled that the Speaker is likely to get a report (whether final or interim, remains to be seen) in a few days and some tough action is expected. One thing that will certainly be done is bringing a legislation framing clear rules for appointments in the Assembly Secretariat by curtailing discretionary powers of Speakers. But both the government as well as the Speaker are well aware that merely changing rules for future appointments will not suffice in restoring the credibility of the establishment and some appointments might have to be nullified.