‘I have blessing of my father’
As anticipated, Manish Khanduri, son of the former chief minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, joined the Congress in the presence of its president Rahul Gandhi during the party’s rally at Parade Ground on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, he said that he is confident of the Congress going from strength to strength under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. Khanduri junior further claimed that he had held discussion with his father before deciding to join the Congress. “I sought his blessing and he said it is with me. My father asked me if I am confident enough to tread the path of truth while braving adversities I said I am,’’ he said. Welcoming Manish Khanduri into the party’s folds, Rahul Gandhi said that a veteran leader like Major General B C Khanduri (Rtd) had been unceremoniously removed by Narendra Modi from the position of the chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Defence when he had pointed out that the government was not helping the armed forces the way it should.
The entry of Khanduri junior in the Congress is being considered a big jolt to the ruling BJP as his father is considered as one of the top leaders of the party in the state. In what appeared to be a last- ditch effort to prevent Manish Khanduri’s entry into the Congress, the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and the state party chief Ajay Bhatt had met Maj Gen Khanduri on Friday night. Sources said that Khanduri had told them he had no role to play in his son’s decision to join the Congress. Furthermore, the veteran leader is learnt to have expressed his inability to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll, citing age.
Political pundits are of the view that Khanduri junior who is sure to contest from Garhwal seat on Congress ticket would get a major boost if his father chooses to campaign for him. “Khanduri senior, who is a four- time MP from Garhwal seat and who twice served as the chief minister of Uttarakhand aside from his stint in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, still enjoys immense popularity among the people of the state,” said a political analyst.
Sunday, 17 March 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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