The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday announced that Pushkar Singh Dhami will remain the chief minister of Uttarakhand, ANI reported. In the recently held state polls, Dhami had lost the Khatima seat to Congress candidate Bhuwan Chandra Kapri by a margin of 6,579 votes.

His party, however, won a clear majority, bagging 47 of the 70 seats in the state. The BJP’s decision to retain Dhami as the chief minister means he would have to get elected in a bye-poll within six months of taking oath. He would be contesting a seat that one of the elected BJP MLAs would vacate.

Earlier on Monday, the BJP Legislature Party held a meeting in Dehradun where the decision on Dhami was taken.

“Pushkar Singh Dhami has been elected as the Leader of the Legislative Party,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who attended the meeting, told reporters. “I congratulate him, I am confident that under his leadership Uttarakhand will make rapid progress.”

In July, Dhami had been appointed as the chief minister, replacing Tirath Singh Rawat who resigned within four months of taking charge from Trivendra Singh Rawat.

Several MLAs, including Ganesh Joshi and Arvind Pandey, have supported Dhami to be elected as the leader of the legislature party, PTI reported. Six MLAs also said they are willing to vacate their Assembly seats to help Dhami get elected to the House.

It is also to be seen if former Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya who lost his seat in the Assembly polls is retained.