Discontent simmering in Uttarakhand Congress

Dehradun : It is almost eighteen months that the Congress government in Uttarakhand has been in office. But the tussle within the party in the state reminds one of the scene immediately after the vidhan sabha elections, when there was a keen tussle for the post of chief minister.

Union minister Harish Rawat may have been pipped to the post by Vijay Bahuguna, courtesy the corporate sector and the Congress high command, but at not time had the sword been sheathed. If one believes political observers here, he and his supporters were waiting for the right opportunity.

CongressWhether the right opportunity has come or not, only time will tell, but the chief minister finds himself ate the receiving end of not only Rawat, but his supporters who are not hesitating to fire salvos at Bahuguna. And they have made development, the crux of the issue.

In fact Rawat went on record recently to say that there are 20 MLAs from the bordering regions of the state, because of whom the Congress came to power in Uttarakhand and all of them are cribbing that there is no development going on in their region.

On the remark by the chief minister that the issue will be resolved at Delhi, he went on to say if that this issue of partisan ship being shown in the name of development has to be solved at Delhi, than there are other issues also that will be brought to the notice of the party high command.

According to political observers here though there is simmering discontent within the Congress rank and file in this small mountain state, but apparently the chief minister baiters have struck earlier and they may not reach their perceived goal to dislodge the chief minister.

To press home their point they said that Lok Sabha elections are on the anvil. The elections are due next year but could be held earlier depending upon the political situation at the centre and at this crucial juncture, the high command would not like to give a whipping handle to the BJP by changing the chief minister.

Recalling that the BJP had changed their chief minister some months before vidhan sabha elections and then banked upon B C Khanduri to bring the party back to power, they said that the Congress made the most of the change and managed to win more seats and kobble up a majority.

But the disgruntled sections with the Congress claim that this, if any, is the right time to strike as the party high command is keen to win all the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand. The disgruntled party legislators can work against the party and hold the chief minister responsible for the loss in their respective assembly segments, they pointed out.

They were of the view that development, specially in a vastly underdeveloped state like Uttarakhand, is the key word to get votes and if there is no development being done in their area, as being alleged by them, than the onus falls on the chief minister and not the legislators.

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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