SENIOR Congress leader and a former Minister in ND Tewari Government, Lt. Gen. (retd.) T.P.S. Rawat, has said that he joined the BJP ?unconditionally?. Talking to Organiser in Dehradun he said, he was feeling suffocated in the Congress for a long time. ?The Congress has today become a party of absolute corrupt leaders. From March to May this year I met thrice to AICC president Smt. Sonia Gandhi and requested her to remove the corrupt people from the top posts. But she did not do anything. I am in politics for certain principles and I cannot tolerate corruption around me. With the election of Shri Harak Singh Rawat on the post of Leader of Opposition I had declared that I would not enter the assembly till he is not removed from that post. When I found that nobody is listening to me and all are equally corrupt in the party I had no other option but to leave the party. It was also improper for me to continue to remain an MLA who can not raise the problems of his constituency in the House,? he added.
When asked whether he would contest the Lok Sabha election from Pauri Garhwal Lok Sabha seat, he said he has neither asked anything from the party nor the party has promised him anything. ?I would do whatever I am told to do for the party,? he said further adding that he would enjoy working with the committed and dedicated people of BJP. He also said on his part he was not at ease in the Congress where ?my pride as a motherland loving soldier was being slighted.? He said that in his eight years political career he has found that the BJP is a party that thinks about the country. ?I would now work for achieving the objectives of the party and also for the development of Uttarakhand,? he added.
Shri Rawat'sresignation is the worst setback for the Congress in Uttarakhand after it lost power in the state in March this year. Shri Rawat, who represented Dhumakot seat in the assembly has also paved the way for Chief Minister Shri BC Khanduri to contest a by-poll. With Shri Rawat'sresignation, the Congress has now 18 MLAs in the 70-member Uttarakhand House and the BJP has 35 MLAs which is one short of the simple majority. Currently, Shri Khanduri is a member of the Lok Sabha from Pauri Garhwal seat. It is believed that Shri Rawat would contest from Pauri Parliamentary seat.
The BJP president Shri Rajnath Singh formally announced the induction of Shri Rawat into the party on June 8 in New Delhi. Shri Rawat paid Rs 5 to get the BJP'sprimary membership. ?His entry into the party would further strengthen the organisation and the Government in the State,? Shri Rajnath Singh said. Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri, former Chief Minister and state BJP president Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, in charge of Uttarakhand state Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Health Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal ?Nishank? and various other senior party leaders were present on the occasion. ?In the armed forces, the soldiers have a natural liking for the BJP because of its patriotism and nationalism. So it was only natural that Shri Rawat joined the BJP,? Shri Khanduri said.