Dissidence ridden BJP compromises anti-corruption stance in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun : So eager is the BJP to retain power in Uttarakhand that the party high command is apparently putting its foot in its mouth. At least this is what senior political observers here feel on the latest move of the party to appoint former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ as the national vice president and another former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari as the incharge for the state elections.

Political observers here were of the opinion that by appointing Nishank as the national vice president, the BJP high command had only given a whipping handle to the Congress party. Their contention was that it was obvious that Nishank had been removed as chief minister because of the scams that allegedly took place during his tenure, and by giving him a place in the national executive only indicated that he had been rewarded.

They were of the view that even the message that the BJP was trying to send that it was for zero tolerance against corruption had been diluted. The people will only laugh at the rath yatra being taken out by the party supremo Lal Kishan Advani, which is supposed to highlight the prevailing corruption in the state, which has been brought to focus following the hunger strike of Anna Hazare.

Then the move to make Bhagat Singh Koshiyari the election incharge for the state would only intensify the groupism within the party in the state. Khanduri and Koshiyari have always been at daggers drawn and now the party high command wants Koshiyari to spearhead the election campaign whereas Khanduri will have to play second fiddle, they contended.

Observers here were of the view that should the party fare well in the coming vidhan sabha elections the credit will be taken by Koshiyari, which chief minister Khanduri would not want in any case. For after all if the BJP comes to power (which is very doubtful), following the February elections, it will be Kishiyari who will stake his claim for chief ministership, leaving Khanduri in the lurch, they felt.

Except for Nishank loyalists, even the party rank and file was not very happy with the former chief minister having made the national vice president. “He had abstained the first day from the two-day meeting of the party national executive meeting being held in Delhi, to protest his being removed as chief minister, and yet he has been made the national vice president, despite the dissent, which does not go well with the disciplined image of the party”, partymen said.

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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