Friday, 25 March 2022 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun
The composition of the newly sworn-in cabinet of Uttarakhand and the deft manner in which Pushkar Singh Dhami picked up the candidates of his choice for it clearly reflect that high command of the saffron party has given a virtual free hand to the young CM in the Himalayan state. Dhami who was often termed night watchman when he was unexpectedly given the coveted chair of CM just months ahead of the assembly election was able to steer his party to a landslide two-third majority with the help of a strong pro Modi undercurrent in the state. However after his defeat from Khatima his opponents in the party engineered a narrative that the party should not appoint him at the helm again. However the troika of Modi, Shah and Nadda backed the young leader to the hilt. Emboldened by their pat on his back, Dhami dropped three ministers and stonewalled the attempts of party’s state chief Madan Kaushik to sneak back into the cabinet. Showing astuteness typical of a seasoned politician he has also kept three berths in cabinet vacant to keep the carrot dangling for a dozen odd aspirants.
Basking in the glory of its humongous performance in the just concluded assembly elections those running the show in the saffron party have taken a stern note of the rampant factionalism and its fallout in Haridwar district. In the elections the party was able to secure victory in only three out of 11 seats in the district which sends the maximum number of MLAs in the 70 member state assembly. The party bosses are learnt to have taken a special note on the complaints of the back stabbing and bickering during and just after the elections in Haridwar. The anger of the party bosses reflects in no representation given to the Haridwar district in the newly sworn cabinet of Pushkar Singh Dhami. The party is also learnt to have made up its mind to remove Madan Kaushik -who hails from Haridwar district- from the post of the party’s State president.
Setting an example
At the time when the other two dropped ministers of Dhami –I cabinet are either airing their dissent in open or are sulking, Arvind Pandey has set up an example by immediately leaving the official bungalow allotted to him. Like veterans Banshidhar Bhagat and Bishan Singh Chufal, Pandey who had held the portfolio of education and had busted the myth that ministers heading this department always bite dust in the assembly elections was ignored by Dhami in his second innings as CM of the state. Taking the setback in his stride Pandey asked his family members to pack their belongings and shifted to the modest MLA hostel within hours after the new cabinet took oath of office. One should remember the politicians are known to dig their heels when it comes to leaving the comfort of the official bungalows and the Babus belonging to the department overseeing the government estates had to toil hard to get the property evacuated.