Congress blues in Uttarakhand on rise as team Hazare canvasses against it

Dehra Dun : The Congress in Uttarakhand was visibly relaxed vis-à-vis the elections to the vidhan sabha in February next year. The main reason for this was the total non-governance during the BJP tenure and the scams that allegedly took place and rocked the mountain state during the over two year term of Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ as chief minister.

However, with team Hazare having launched a broadside against the Congress, and its members going round the state where elections are being held and asking the people not to vote for the party because of its reluctance to pass the Janlokpal Bill and the yog guru Baba Ramdev also accusing the Congress-led UPA government at the centre hell bent on finishing him, the party now finds itself in a catch-22 situation.

Congress leaders here in private admit that the Anna Hazare factor could be crucial for the party in the coming vidhan sabha elections in the state.

“We were in a very advantageous position and initial surveys had indicated that the BJP would not get even 15 of the 70 assembly segments, but with team Hazare openly canvassing against the Congress the situation has changed dramatically”, they confide.

They say that corruption was a whipping handle that the party intended to use freely and make it the main election plank in the vidhan sabha elections because of the scams that reportedly took place during the past two and a half years and also the fact that the BJP had to change the chief minister because of it, but would not be able to encash it because of the Anna Hazare affect.

In fact the Congress leaders are now searching for other issues that can be raked up and hope to make the most of the non-governance that was omnipresent, because of which the man on the street had lost all faith and hope in the BJP government.

Strong resentment amongst the people because of non-governance, however, Congress leaders feel may be an issue but would not cut the same ice as the corruption issue.

Another factor that could hit the Congress party hard is the factionalism prevailing within the party.

Things have reached a stage where not only the leaders but their supporters are also daggers drawn, which was evident from the fact that a state-level office bearer of the party was beaten badly within the premises of the Congress office by supporters of his detractors.

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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