Tewari finally agrees to campaign for Congress in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun : After hobnobbing with the Samajwadi Party and giving sleepless nights to the Congress state and central leadership, veteran Congress leader, Narayan Dutt Tewari, who has of late been in the news, albeit for the wrong reasons, has finally decided to stay within the Congress and campaign for its candidates in the five Lok Sabha seats of Uttarakhand.

ND Tiwari with his biological son Rohit Shekhar
ND Tiwari with his biological son Rohit Shekhar

It may be recalled that Tewari had sought a ticket either for himself or his biological son, Rohit Shekhar, whom he wanted to make a successor to his political fiefdom, from the Congress party, despite the fact that age is not in his side and he had received some negative publicity, specially when he was the governor of Andhra Pradesh, a post that he had to quit after a video clip was aired in a news channel.

He had even sought time from Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, and remained camped in New Delhi for three days, but he was not given time. Miffed, he went to Lucknow where he met the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav. Initially they had talked in terms of giving him a party ticket from Nainital, but later they backtracked and said that they would not put up a party candidate, should Tewari decide to contest as an independent.

Tewari had also undertaken a tour of Nainital and its adjoining regions and met his supporters and well-wishers before he went to Delhi. The feedback that he got from his supporters and loyalists encouraged him to take a plunge in electoral politics yet again despite having reached the ripe age of 89, which is when he sought a ticket from the Congress.

However, with the Congress denying him or his biological son, Rohit Shekar, a party ticket and the Samajwadi Party though showing a soft corner to the veteran Congress leader is not giving him the party ticket from Nainital, Tewari gave indications that he may contest as an independent. This had upset the Congress state and central leaders.

They immediately got into action to somehow convince the aging Tewari from contesting as it could upset the prospects of the party candidate from Nainital Lok Sabha seat and also create a ripple effect against the Congress in the other four parliamentary constituencies. Reports are that Moti Lal Vora and A K Antony were pressed into service to dissuade Tewari from contesting, which he finally agreed to.

Now reports are that Tewari will be campaigning for the Congress candidates in Uttarakhand and will be holding public meetings at Haldwani in Nainital Lok sabha seat and Haridwar in Haridwar parliamentary constituency, from where Renuka Rawat, wife of Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat is the Congress candidate.

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that even Rajnath Singh had met Tewari in Lucknow and the veteran Congress leader had given his blessings to the BJP president. But now there is peace in the Congress camps in Uttarakhand, as they have got word of full support of the veteran Congress leader and preparations have begun for his public meetings.

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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