Dehra Dun : As the elections to the Uttarakhand vidhan sabha draw close, and the Congress having drawn a blank in the recent by-elections in various parts of the country, jitters are visible in the Congress high command. Top party leaders of the state have been called by AICC president Sonia Gandhi for parleys on the prospects of various candidates.
With Team Anna still hell bent on opposing the Congress in the states where elections will be held, till the UPA government at the centre agrees for a strong Lokpal Bill on the lines advocated by the civil leaders, there are fears that what was earlier being considered as a cake walk for the party, is now ridden with road blocks and pot holes.
In fact, the state Congress leaders were hopeful of using the large number of scams allegedly committed in the state, during the tenure of Ramesh Pokhriyal â€˜Nishankâ€™, to expose the BJP government in Uttarakhand and use it as their main election plank. But now with the 2G, Commonwealth and other scams exposing the Congress, the state leaders are having second thoughts on the issue.
The distribution of party tickets for the vidhan sabha election due in early 2012 is also likely to figure at the meeting and a list is likely to be drawn where preference will be given to those with a clean slate, with the ability to win as the main criterion. As a number of local candidates who have lost one election after another are also in the fray, preference will be given to new faces.
But as the there are several contenders for the post of chief minister within the state leaders in Uttarakhand, there is a lot of infighting on the cards, as the chief ministerial candidates will lobby desperately for their loyalists getting the party tickets. Prominent among them are minister at the centre, Harish Rawat, state Congress president Yashpal Arya, leader of the opposition in the vidhan sabha Harak Singh Rawat, Satpal Maharaj and Vijay Bahuguna, both MPs.