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Ahead of taking oath as CM, Dhami offers prayers at Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Dehradun

Dehradun (Uttarakhand): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Uttarakhand Chief Minister-designate Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday offered prayers at Tapkeshwar Mahadev temple in Dehradun ahead of the oath ceremony. "I will be taking the oath today. People of the state gave us a two-thirds majority and today our government is officially going to be formed. May God remove all obstacles and our state may further progress," he said. Dhami will take oath as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand for his second consecutive term on Wednesday. The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Parade Ground in Dehradun at 3:30 pm. Along with him, the Cabinet ministers will also be administered the oath. Dhami was elected leader of the BJP legislature party in Uttarakhand on Monday, paving the way for his taking over the reins of the state for a second time.Dhami, who lost from the Khatima Assembly constituency in Uttarakhand, led the party's poll campaign in the state as Chief Minister during the Assembly polls held last month. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi were central observers for the legislature party meeting. They are also likely to be present in the swearing-in ceremony. Several names, including former Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', Union Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni, MLA Dhan Singh Rawat and Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj, were doing the rounds as possible choices for Chief Minister. Dhami had lost to Congress candidate Bhuwan Chandra Kapri from Khatima by a margin of 6,579 votes in the state polls. He got a total of 41,598 votes with a vote share of 44.8 per cent against Kapri who got 48,177 with 51.89 per cent votes. Dhami had won twice from the seat. The son of an ex-serviceman, Dhami was born in 1975 in Kanalichhina village in Pithoragarh district. He had also been with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), besides being a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Dhami served as the president of the BJP Yuva Morcha in Uttarakhand twice between 2002 and 2008. He is believed to be a protege of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari. Dhami will be the 13th Chief Minister of the hilly state. He belongs to the Kumaun region. The last two chief ministers before him were from the Garhwal region. The BJP won the popular mandate for the second consecutive term in Uttarakhand and won 47 seats in the 70-member Assembly.

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