DEHRADUN: Trivendra Singh Rawat‘s resignation as Uttarakhand chief minister has once again strengthened the belief in political circles that any CM who moves into the official residence located on Cantt Road in Dehradun is unable to complete his term.
The building has for long carried a tag of being ‘jinxed’ since its previous occupants Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and thereafter Vijay Bahuguna were ousted from the CM’s chair before they could finish their term. It is believed that former CM Harish Rawat did not shift to the official residence due to the same reason and instead preferred to stay in the Bijapur guest house.
However, in 2017, defying the ‘jinx’, Trivendra Singh Rawat had shifted to the bungalow, located in a sprawling 10-acre area in the heart of the city. At the time, he had said that he did not give credence to rumours, but had nevertheless decided to make the shift on the second day of the Navratra season, considered auspicious for new beginnings, after conducting a 2-hour long pooja along with his wife and two daughters.
Designed in a ‘pahadi’ style, the bungalow, with 60 rooms, was built in 2010 and comprises of a badminton court, swimming pool, several lawns as well as separate offices for the CM and his team. It was built at a cost of Rs 16 crore.
Political analyst Udit Ghildiyal told TOI that it is interesting that even though the BJP had a 57-member strength in the 70-member assembly, the fact that Trivendra Rawat had to step down before completing his term has strengthened the belief regarding the CM’s official residence.
“However, at the same time, this is also a fact that Harish Rawat did not stay in the bungalow but he, too, faced several ups and downs and political turmoil in his tenure, and lost the elections from both the seats that he contested,” Ghildiyal added.
Only ND Tiwari completed full term
Since Uttarakhand was carved out of UP in November 2000, only one chief minister, N D Tiwari, has been able to complete his full term of five years. T S Rawat was a close second, as his tenure was nine days short of four years. The first CM of Uttarakhand, Nityanand Swami, held the post for a little less than a year. Political analyst Udit Ghildiyal told TOI, “Internal bickering within both Congress and BJP has always existed as a result of which most CMs have failed to complete the full term.”