Congress Misleading Uttarakhand People On Gairsain Issue

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Dehra Dun: Gairsain was an emotional issue in the agitation for Uttarakhand. The place, which is in the middle of this small hill state, was tipped to be the state capital by the statehood agitationists after the formation of the new state. However, the governments that were formed were minus the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) which played the pivotal role in the statehood agitation and Gairsain was relegated to the background with Dehra Dun being made the state capital.

gairsain

However, realizing well that Gairsain is still an emotive issue with the people of this small hill state, and not the agitationists alone, both the BJP and the ruling Congress party rake up the issue for their political ends every time the statehood day nears. Uttarakhand was formed on Nov 9 2000 and the Congress party is holding the next session of the Vidhan Sabha on Nov 2 at the place, albeit in the polytechnic hall as there are no buildings to house the sessions that will take place.

The Congress has almost always backtracked on the issue of Gairsain being made the state paital, though it has always kept the issue alight so that it continues to get the support of the masses, which perhaps may not be possible should it close the chapter. The state Congress chief Kishore Upadhya raked up the issue immediately on taking over the reins and announced with much fanfare that Gairsain would be made the permanent capital of the state.

However, even as his statement made headlines in local and vernacular dailies, chief minister Harish Rawat contradicted the state party chief and issued a statement that it would be made the summer capital of the state. However, when this was opposed by certain partymen, the chief minister backtracked again and said that an all party meeting would be called to discuss the issue.

Now with the intent of whether Gairsain would be made the state capital or not still dithering, Congress has now said that it would be made a smart city, an issue that had been raised by the previous government also. So will Gairsain eventually become the state capital or just end up being a smart city is anybody’s guess but the statehood agitationists have vowed to continue their agitation that the place is eventually made the state capital in fulfillment of the emotional issues of the people of the state.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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