Friday, 20 July 2018 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun–
Elevation of former Chief Minister and congress strongman Harish Rawat to the Congress Working Committee ( CWC), the supreme decision making body of the party, is nothing less than a political masterstroke by AICC General Secretary Ashok Gehlot. Astute politician that he is, Gehlot quickly accessed the situation in Uttarakhand where towering presence and political activeness of Harish Rawat was creating problems for State Congress President Pritam Singh. The bad blood between pro and anti Harish Rawat camps had reached to a level where instead of concentrating their energies on attacking BJP; the congress leaders were openly washing the dirty linen in public. On the advice of Gehlot, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi placed Rawat in CWC and appointed him in- charge of Assam. The decision served twin purposes of catapulting Harish Rawat into national politics and giving free hand to Pritam Singh to run the State unit of Congress party as per his wishes. Gehlot’s masterstroke has created a win-win situation for both Harish Rawat and Pritam Singh camps with foot soldiers of both camps claiming victory of their leaders in the game of one-upmanship. Their claims appear correct from their perspectives and that’s exactly the reason why Gehlot, the wily politician from Rajasthan is being held in high esteem by Rahul Gandhi these days.
The PR team of the Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand and head of media cell of BJP, Anil Baluni is going overboard in its endeavour to firmly establish the young leader in the politics of the Himalayan State. In recent past the meetings of the RS MP with the Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal and his requests for new trains were projected as personal triumphs of the young leader. It appeared that his followers were able to impress upon certain media houses that made declarations that new trains have been announced by the railways courtesy Baluni. It is a common knowledge that the new trains are announced by the Railways Minister in budget and that too after some surveys. There is no doubt that suave leader with his skills and easy accessibility to the top leaders of the saffron party is leader of future and people of the Himalayan State have high hopes from him. However he is well advised to tread cautiously and stay away from making announcements which could end up embarrassing him.
Political analysts started conjuring saucy tales about fluid political situation in Uttarakhand after the BJP MLA Sanjay Gupta made his now famous ‘Beef Biryani’ comment last week. The MLA from Laksar got so much annoyed by Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues attending marriage ceremony of son of his bête noir in local politics Mohammad Shahzad that he castigated the CM for ignoring them and attending the ceremony where Beef Biryani was being served. A red faced party promptly served a show cause notice to him and punitive action against the defiant MLA is on the cards. However the fact remains that Gupta is being backed by a powerful former CM and at least two leaders holding senior organisational positions in saffron party are also standing solidly behind him. Under such circumstances it is becoming increasingly imminent that voluble MLA would not get a very harsh sentence and escape with some minor face saving penalty.
Author: Gajendra Singh Negi
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