Uttarakhand: BC Khanduri sworn in as Chief Minister

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Dehradun:  BC Khanduri was today sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand by Governor Margaret Alva. This comes a day after Bharatiya Janata Party (MJP) asked the Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to step down.

Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Ravishankar Prasad were present at the swearing in ceremony.

The BJP top brass decided to replace Mr Pokhriyal after he came under a corruption cloud. The party, however, insists that allegations against him are inaccurate and the change has been made keeping in view the next Assembly polls.

Mr Pokhriyal met the Governor shortly after noon today and submitted his resignation. "I am a worker of the party and I will go by whatever the party says," he said.

Addressing a press conference after taking the oath, Mr Khanduri said, "I am glad that the party has given me this responsibility and I'm grateful to the party and the people of Uttarakhand for their love and respect even when I was not the chief minister."

Saying that all efforts will be made to make Uttarakhand prominent on the national and global map, Mr Khanduri announced his four important agendas. "One, ordered all ministers and bureaucrats, IAS, IPS officers in Uttarakhand to submit all property details to government by October 15. Two, Anna's movement is very inspiring so we are making all efforts to form a strong Lokayaukta in the state...have to strengthen governance to help the common man. Three, have ordered government to probe benami/illegal properties and confiscate them. Four, also want people to be aware of their public service rights."

He also said these will be brought into effect in four months time.    

All the eleven ministers, who were part of Mr Nishank's cabinet, have been retained by Mr Khanduri. The cabinet ministers who took oath at the function at Rangers Ground were Matbar Singh Kandari, Banshidhar Bhagat, Prakash Pant, Diwakar Bhatt, Madan Kaushik, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Rajendra Singh Bhandari, Govind Singh Bist, Vijaya Barthwal, Khajan Das and Balwant Singh Bhoryal.

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