States: Vindictive Harish Rawat sacks Amrita Rawat from Cabinet
The threat posed by the BJP stalwart Satpal Maharaj to the Uttarakhand government is giving sleepless nights to CM Harish Rawat. In an anxiety to safeguard his government from the onslaught, Rawat has been making awkward and unconstitutional political moves. Rawat sacked Amrita from his 12-member Cabinet for allegedly working against Congress candidate from Pauri Garhwal Lok Sabha seat Harak Singh Rawat. Amrita Rawat is wife of Satpal Maharaj, a former MP from Pauri Garhwal seat who has crossed over to BJP abandoning Congress on March 21. Amrita was replaced by an independent MLA from Tehri Dinesh Danai as the new tourism minister.
In fact, soon after exit polls showed that the BJP led by Narendra Modi would be forming government at the Centre, Rawat undertook an exercise of putting his flock together. Without losing time, even before the counting began, he appointed 7 MLAs as the Parliamentary Secretaries, a post unheard of as yet; and 10 MLAs as chairmen, vice chairmen and presidents of some board or the other. He is also trying to appease one more vociferous and bellicose MLA Subodh Uniyal. UPA government has already granted Rs 8,000 crore relief package to the disaster-hit State. State BJP president Tirath Singh Rawat said the chief minister has never announced the volume of money he received in donations, still the CM Rawat made a demand on May 20 of an additional package of Rs 4,000 crore from the new government. Despite all the aid and donations provided open-heartedly by the entire nation, former CM Vijay Bahuguna refused to grant ex gratia payments to the kins of more than 5, 700 deceased devotees drawn from other states of India.
-Arvind Kumar from Dehradun