Harish Rawat protégé Harish Dhami has threatened to contest next assembly election as an independent if Rawat is continued to be sidelined.
With the camp followers of former chief minister and general secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC), Harish Rawat opening a front against leadership of state unit, the infighting within Uttarakhand Congress is bound to increase in the coming days. Harish Rawat protégé and Dharchula MLA, Harish Dhami has already fired a salvo by stating that he would not fight the next assembly election on Congress party symbol if the Harish Rawat is continued to be sidelined by the state leaders. On his Face-book wall, Dhami said, “Honourable Harish Rawat is not merely a name but is an ideology. In a recent rally of the party some people with menial thinking tried to remove his name which is low grade activity.’’
Kedarnath MLA Manoj Rawat who is considered close to Harish Rawat also commented in support of Harish Dhami’s post. He said that name firmly remains entrenched in the hearts of people and no one can remove it.
The Harish Rawat camp is furious at his neglect by the leadership of state Congress. In a recent ‘Samvidhan Bachao, Bharat Bachao’ rally, the names of Harish Rawat and former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Kishore Upadhyaya were missing from the banners, posters and other material. Political observers are linking the recent comment of Harish Rawat in which he had indicated that he is planning to retire from public life with his anger at being alienated in the scheme of things in the state unit of Congress party. The seasoned politician that he is, Harish Rawat plunged himself in the protests the party organised in Assam, a day after expressing his interest to retire. Harish Rawat is the in charge of the Congress party in Assam.
It is pertinent to mention here that at least eight out of eleven Congress party MLAs are considered to be close to Harish Rawat. It is an open secret that the Uttarakhand Congress is a sharply divided house with three major camps. One camp is of the leaders owing allegiance to Harish Rawat while other major camp is of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Pritam and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Indira Hridayesh. Third camp, though small in size is of supporters of former PCC president Kishore Upadhyaya.
In the state unit of the Congress party the supporters of the former CM, Harish Rawat are in considerable numbers. The political observers are of the opinion that though battered badly in the assembly elections of 2017 when he lost from both assembly seats from where he contested and huge defeat he suffered in Nainital Udham Singh Nagar parliamentary constituency in Lok Sabha elections of 2019, Harish Rawat is still the tallest and most popular leader of Congress party in the state. They believe that by alienating him, the Congress party which is already in shambles would get further weakened.
Wednesday, 01 January 2020 | PNS | Dehradun