Friday 08, 2021 | Gajendra Singh Negi
The appreciation heaped by both PM Narendra Modi and the Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami during their visits to the state has boosted the morale of the young CM and unnerved many leaders of the saffron party. While PM Modi addressed the CM with use of words like energetic, enthusiastic and a friend in his speech at Rishikesh, Rajnath Singh equated Dhami with such a swashbuckling batsman who has been sent to the pitch in the last over of a T-20 match. These adulations coming from the top brass of the BJP clearly indicate that BJP would enter the upcoming election under the leadership of Dhami who has drawn everyone’s attention with his no nonsense approach, careful selection of words and a political maturity beyond his years. This means that the other hopefuls within the party that include a battery of former chief ministers, senior leaders and turncoats from the Congress would have to wait on the sidelines as it appears that the BJP has decided to keep the much hyped Assam formula in abeyance in Uttarakhand.
Wary of the Hindutva card and catchphrase Jai Shri Ram that propelled the Saffron politics and helped in catapulting BJP to power, the Congress party has come up with the Jai Ganesha slogan in the Himalayan state. Sharp and quick witted Harish Rawat gave the Ganesha mantra after he successfully positioned his protégé Ganesh Godiyal on the position of the president of Pradesh Congress Committee recently. Rawat was probably motivated by the success of Jai Hanuman war cry unleashed by AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal in the battle of Delhi early last year when the monkey god blessed AK to hold his fort of the national capital. It is no wonder that the state which boasts of itself as Devbhoomi and where Hindus are in overwhelming majority the Jai Ganesha chant of Congress is finding favour. However it seems that some overzealous leaders are getting carried away and retorting to doing absurd things like the one witnessed during the programme of Godiyal where a man masquerading as Lord Ganesha was found seated on a chair near the dais.
With Uttarakhand High Court removing the restrictions it had earlier imposed, the famed Char Dham Yatra has well and truly started in the manner it used to operate during the pre pandemic time period in the state. As expected the decision was welcomed by everyone in the state, especially those associated with the Yatra. In this euphoria one should not forget the lessons learnt from the mega religious congregation of Kumbh held in Haridwar earlier this year where a surge of devotees brought the second wave of the pandemic which unleashed unprecedented devastation in the state. In organising Kumbh the religious sentiments prevailed over the advice of the experts and raising a voice of caution proved costly for the then CM Trivendra Singh Rawat who was unceremoniously removed from the post of CM of the state. The Uttarakhand government is claiming that it is prepared to tackle the probable third wave of the pandemic but considering the fact that the government made these claims before both the first and second waves, these assurances appear hollow. Though one finds some solace in the increasing vaccination numbers the complacency being shown by the authorities in enforcing the Covid-19 guidelines, the start of full scale Yatra and the devil may care attitude of general public is like giving an invitation to the Covid-19 virus which has mastered the art of deception.