Scams from Nishank tenure haunt BJP in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun : The ghost of the scams that riddled the BJP government in Uttarakhand during the tenure of Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ as chief minister has begun haunting the party in the state. And it seems to be getting bigger as the date of the elections to the vidhan sabha due in the state in February next year, draw closer.

Apparently concerned that the fallout of the scams that allegedly took place during the tenure of Nishank could mar the party prospects at the hustings and even make things difficult for the present chief minister Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri, the so-called ‘Mr Clean’ of the party, a team of BJP observers are currently in Uttarakhand to survey its prospects in the forthcoming assembly elections.

In the first part of its survey, the team took a round of the Kotdwara, Yamkeshwar and Lansdowne assembly segments to analyze which one of these could be a safe bet for Khanduri. For obviously if the General himself is on weak wicket, there is no way he can lead the party to victory.

Though the team of observers held a meeting with senior state BJP bigwigs in a closed door, but it was reliably gathered, that it was of the view that the chief minister should contest from at least two assembly segments, in a bid to ensure that he makes it through.

Though there are a lot of contenders from the party tickets from these assembly segments, it was felt that preference be given to Khanduri.

Party sources said that though Khanduri had earlier contested from the Pauri assembly segment, but it was no longer being considered safe and segments with a large chunk of serving and ex-servicemen were being taken into consideration in the hope that they will be loyal to the former major general.

As of now it appears that Khanduri may contest from either the Lansdowne or the Kotdwara assembly segments because of the number of serving and ex-servicemen in these two assembly segments.

In fact, Lansdowne is a cantonment and also the headquarters of the Royal Garhwal Rifles, which is known for its various acts of valour and bravery.

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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