How Trivendra Rawat pulled ahead of heavyweights on path to power
Trivendra Singh Rawat, the , is a soft-spoken individual with a penchant for getting things done - a trait that he is believed to have picked up early in life due to his association with the RSS as a pracharak.
Over the years, Rawat won recognition for his administrative and organisational skills. His loyalty to the party and RSS ideology possibly gave him an edge in the race to the top job in Uttarakhand.
Rawat joined the RSS in 1979 as a 19-year-old and steadily rose up the ranks eventually heading the Dehradun unit of the sangh.
He remained active as a pracharak through most of the 1990s.
In 1997, he was made general secretary, organisation, of the state BJP and played an important role in organising the party cadre both in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions.
In 2002, he contested state elections for the first time and won from the Doiwala seat of Dehradun. In 2007, he again won the seat and was made a cabinet minister in the BC Khanduri government and given the agriculture portfolio.
His name featured in a 'seed scam' during this time. It was alleged that the agriculture department under his watch had committed financial irregularities in the procurement of a green manuring crop (known as dhaincha) to be given to farmers whose land quality had deteriorated due to excessive use of fertilisers.
In 2012, Rawat contested from the Raipur seat of Dehradun but lost. This was followed by another poll debacle when he lost the 2014 byelections from the Doiwala seat.
The 56-year-old leader's biggest political political break, according to BJP insiders, came when he was made the party's general secretary in 2013 and in the following year, came close to BJP national president Amit Shah who appointed him as deputy in charge of Uttar Pradesh for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The party's success in UP and Rawat's role in the victory was acknowledged by Shah and PM Modi who inducted him as national convener of the PM's pet project for Ganga cleanup, 'Namami Gange.' He was also made the in charge of Jharkhand for the 2014 state polls where the BJP formed a government.