Congress in Uttarakhand witnesses open factionalism after Rawat’s demand to declare its CM before 2022 elections

It’s just a year left for the Assembly elections in Uttarakhand and the state’s only opposition party Congress thinks that its chances are bright keeping in view the anti incumbency factor and the general trend of change of guards after every political election since the last two decades. Highly optimistic of coming back to power in 2022, Congress in Uttarakhand, these days is badly in turmoil with the factionalism coming to the fore with regard to the recent statement and subsequent tweets n FB posts of the former CM and party’s national general secretary Harish Rawat urging the party high command to declare its General who is projected as its future CM of Uttarakhand in the 2022 elections.

Rawat says that this will not only reduce prevailing factionalism and groupism in the party at the state’s lowest level but will also chalk out a transparent way out by encouraging all Congressmen stand behind him/ her unitedly to decisively fight the ruling BJP and win at the hustings.

Rawat had just two days ago posted a letter in this regard in his Twitter handle creating quite a sensation in the Congress political circles in Uttarakhand.

Rawat has even said that if one of the names of the present state president Pritam Singh or senior leader Indira Hridayesh are announced as the prospective CMs, he will be prepared to stand behind them and work tirelessly to ensure the party’s victory at the hustings.

Both Pritam Singh and Indira Hridayesh are the betenoires of Harish Rawat and it’s an open fact in Uttarakhand whose political relations with each other have always been at loggerheads.

The Harish Rawat camp has since then become extremely active in the social media cropping up his name as the prospective chief minister of Uttarakhand.

However, the observer n in-charge of Uttarakhand Devendra Yadav who visited Dehradun twice after assuming the charge has unambiguously said that the Congress will contest the 2022 election under the combined leadership of his, Congress president Pritam Singh and veteran octogenarian Congress leader Indira Hridayesh putting at rest all speculations about declaring the prospective CM candidate amongst Him, ( Harish Rawat), Pritam Singh n Indira Hridayesh.

This annoyed Harish Rawat has through a tweet expressed his desire to keep him away from the joint leadership formula venting his indirect annoyance and ire after his wish / demand of declaring a prospective CM has not been fulfilled.

Meanwhile Indira Hridayesh has while responding to Harish Rawat’s demand or wish regarding the declaration of the prospective Congress CM before the 2022 assembly election said that Rawatji very well know that in Congress there is always a system of not declaring the prospective CM in Assembly elections in advance as the past experiences have not brought good results. Directing a satire on Rawat, Indira Hridayesh said that last time in 2017 when Harish Rawat was CM he had lost from two assembly constituencies and the entire party has lost terribly in Uttarakhand.

In 2017 when Harish Rawat was the CM face, we failed in all the thirteen districts which could have given us 13 seats instead of the present 11 said Mrs Hridayesh.

The present Uttarakhand Congress president Pritam Singh on the other hand says that this is not the right time to declare the prospective CM as the challenge before the party are immense. The best course of action would be that the entire Congress party in unison should fight out the ruling BJP tooth and nail to achieve victory in the 2022 elections.

The CM could thereafter be elected through concensus later on post elections. Pritam Singh reiterated that in the year 2002, 2007 n 2012 the Congress had never declared the prospective CM candidate n the same formula will be applied in 2022.

There are reports that Harish Rawat who had been extremely active and highly instrumental in strengthening Congress party in Uttarakhand n leading it to a landslide victory was ditched when ND Tiwari was sworn as the state CM followed by Vijay Bahuguna in 2017 raising quite a storm in Uttarakhand by his massive following even burning effigy of its central leaders in Dehradun.

Political observers say that Harish Rawat wants himself to be declared as the party’s SENAPATI and is confident that by raising this issue the high command considers him in mind as the next CM of Uttarakhand especially in view of his proximity to Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi and his undisputed relentless contribution to Congress in Uttarakhand and at the national level right from the days of Indira Gandhi to the present central leadership.

Meanwhile, deriving political advantage out of the ongoing factionalism within Congress and war of words between the Uttarakhand leaders, the controversial BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat who had just few days ago insulted Indira Hridayesh in public leading to the state CM Trivendra Singh Rawat seeking apologies, said that Congress is divided due to factionalism and are dreaming of coming to power in 2020, They are fighting with each other for the CM’s post like swinging lath, ( stick) in the air. BJP will win hands down winning on 60 assembly seats and Congress has no option but to dream said Bansidhar Bhagat, Uttarakhand BJP chief.

Ironically, the Congress in Uttarakhand despite having deep roots and strong party organisation in entire Uttarakhand is a divided house with factionalism openly coming to the fore say political analysts.


Sunil Negi

Sunil Negi is a senior journalist and president of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum ( Regd). He usually writes on socio political subjects and have been contributing articles in print media for the last several years. Mr. Sunil Negi had been felicitated by All India Achievers conference's Pride of India and excellence awards apart from several other recognitions. He has translated a book on ecological disaster of Uttarakhand of June 2013 and edited and published two editions of Uttaranchal's Who's Who.

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