First it was BJP’s Assembly poll victory in three states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh then Narendra Modi’s Shankhnaad rally in Dehradun on December 15, biggest ever in the post-Independence India, that hold Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna in transfix.
With this, another occasion has come up handy for Bahuguna’s rivals to rear their heads who are alleging that Bahuguna’s two-year long misrule has alienated people from the party, which on the other hand has sent BJP’s stocks soaring in the state politics. Thus, intra-party bickering has risen to a new high, a vast number of Congress party leaders belonging to rival factions have for past several weeks been campaigning hard with the Congress Party leadership in Delhi to remove Bahuguna from Uttarakhand. Leaders like Harish Rawat, Satpal Maharaj, along with the legislators belonging to their factions, made beelines before Sonia Gandhi, and also exerted pressure on Rahul Gandhi to seek Bahuguna’s ouster, also alleging that Bahuguna has, among other things, caused Congress Party’s ignominious defeat in Delhi through canvassing among the people here hailing from Uttarakhand, in company with another party leader Suryakant Dhasmana.
In fact, 20-25 lakh strong voters hailing from Uttarakhand are settled in Delhi which decide the fate of Assembly candidates in about 20 constituencies, including—Buradi, Ghonda, TrilokPuri, Patparganj, Devali, Karaval Nagar, Palam, Sangam vihar, Rohini and Laxminagar etc. Canvassing for the party candidates by CM Bahuguna invoked a sharp reaction among voters from the hill state who rallied round to oppose tooth and nail the Congress causing defeat of party candidates in all the pahari stronghold constituencies in all these constituencies, Congress candidates ended up in third or fourth position. Main cause of their resentment is said to be Bahuguna’s inept handling of Kedarnath disaster which has taken toll of thousands of local persons in the nearby villages, thereafter the CM made a number of false promises for providing relief and compensation to the victims, which has added fuel to fire.
The CM-baiters say that such high level of resentment among the Uttarakhandis in Delhi against Vijay Bahuguna does not augur well for Congress party in Uttarakhand itself which faces general election in 2014. Under Bahuguna as CM the political, economic and social situations have been festering from bad to worse; corruption and outright loot of government properties, funds and other resources by members of his family and party henchmen also has seen a new high. There have been scams in Haridwar, Rudrapur and Sitarganj CIDCUL industrial estates in which bureaucrats having proximity to Bahuguna have been named. Political observers claim, if the same situation continues till 2014 general elections, the Congress is sure to face worst defeat in all five Lok Sabha seats in the state.
In a wise move, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a host of such burning issues affecting life of the Uttarakhand people in Shankhnaad rally in Dehradun on December 15.
Modi’s communication with the massive audience at Parade Ground had been so much effective that Bahuguna and his cabinet colleagues shuddered under its huge impact. Later on, Bahuguna along with his three ministers addressed the people through media giving their weak explanations point-by-point. Shri Modi’s address in the public rally had caused tremendous erosion in public support to Congress in the state.