Congress faces full-blown revolt in Uttarakhand
Sulking Harish Rawat on losing race for CM?
Ravindra Saini from Dehradun
Congress may have formed a government in Uttarakhand under the leadership of MP from Tehri Vijay Bahuguna, but not only the public but the Congress leaders too are not sure whether the government will complete its term or not. With open revolt by senior Congress leader and Minister of State in UPA government Harish Rawat, many Congress MLAs and MPs from the state have expressed resentment that the party high command has chosen a wrong person to lead the government in the state. This is the second time that Harish Rawat’s claim has been ignored as some 10 years back ND Tiwari was made the Chief Minister almost at the 11th hour by the party leadership.
Senior Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat said in Dehradun that considering the manner in which Harish Rawat was denied the post of CM in spite of being most suited for it, the government headed by Bahuguna is not likely to last long.
MP from Almora Pradip Tamta also openly came out in support of Harish Rawat. As many as 20 Congress MLAs and some MPs, including Pradip Tamta, gathered at Rawat’s residence to discuss the situation. After the meeting, Shri Tamta told reporters that they were with Harish Rawat. “He is our leader. Congress Party has done great injustice to him. Shri Vijay Bahuguna is not acceptable to us as the State’s Chief Minister at any cost,” he said claiming that a majority of Congress MLA’ are with Shri Harish Rawat. Although Rawat avoided speaking to reporters himself, his supporters and senior party leaders from the state keep on making statements on his behalf.
With the announcement of the name of Vijay Bahuguna as CM, Harish Rawat resigned from his post of MoS in protest against being ignored for the Chief Ministership. Several Congress leaders and MLAs also warned to intensify their protest across the state unless Harish Rawat is made the CM.
The fight over the post of Chief Minister in Congress has shocked the people of the state. Those who have been expecting a stable government in the state are deeply stunned. Now only one question is haunting the people ‘how will Congress provide a stable government in the state? Will such a government succeed in pushing the culture of development’?
Commenting over this infighting, former CM BC Khanduri told Organiser that the fight was unfortunate for the state. This instability will cause harm to the state and will hinder the way of progress and development. The state needs a strong and stable government. The infighting of the Congress and selfish individual interest of Congress leaders are not in the state’s interest. The recent developments in the Congress are painful as the state’s development was already blocked due to code of conduct. Now people will realise that it was only the BJP, which could give a strong and stable government.
A big question mark exists over the longevity and stability of Bahuguna Government in Uttarakhand. Some in the party are already raising questions over his ability to govern the state under the given circumstances when there is a wide open resistance to his leadership within his own party. Some Congress leaders also allege that making Bahuguna CM is like rewarding those who made every possible effort to ensure the defeat of party candidates in the elections.
The first challenge for Bahuguna under the present circumstances would be to prove majority in the House unless his opponents are made to come around by the party high command somehow. Another challenge is to take all factions within the party with him. If the beginning itself is an indicator, the chair would not prove to be a bed of roses for him. It is not going to be a smooth running for the new government. Personal ambitions of the Congress leaders have remained very high and leadership and administrative skills of Bahuguna are relatively untested.
Being the single largest party, only one seat ahead of the BJP, the Congress was invited by the Governor to form the government. The Congress succeeded in seeking the support of three independent MLAs and the one MLA of UKD(P). In this way it secured the required majority of 36 MLAs in the House. Meanwhile three BSP MLAs also extended support to the Congress government.
The crisis in the Congress depended on March 15, when 17 of the Congress MLAs believed to be Harish Rawat supporters refused to take oath in the Assembly. They are adamant on their demand to remove Vijay Bahuguna from the post of Chief Minister and install Harish Rawat on the post. Harish Rawat also refused to attend the Parliament.?