Turmoil visits BJP camp in Uttarakhand; Will HS Rawat return to the Congress?

BJP sees trouble as senior Uttarakhand minister Harak Singh Rawat looks set for party exit

It isn’t just the Congress that is witnessing turbulence in Uttarakhand. The poll-bound state, which has seen much political turmoil in the past too, has now pushed forward a pin-prick for the ruling BJP.

The Uttarakhand government, led by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, has its boat rocked of late by senior cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat, who seems to have decided to walk out of the government. The state is going to the polls next year, and the ruling BJP had been gearing up to ensure its return to power. Rawat’s rebellion could prove bad to all such plans.

Rawat unhappy over medical college delay

Harak Singh Rawat, who is the Minister for Forest, Environment, Labour and Employment, had been visibly agitated due to the delay over sanctioning a medical college in his constituency, Kotdwar.

With the Dhami government taking too much time to decide on a proposed medical college at Kotdwar, Rawat, who had been pushing for the project, is said to have been totally irked.

A cabinet meeting on Saturday witnessed the boiling over of the issue and Rawat walked out, going by TV news bulletins. While it is being speculated that the senior minister is tendering his resignation, Madan Kaushik, the party chief in Uttarakhand, has gone on record saying that no resignation has been submitted.

Pointing out that Rawat hasn’t resigned, Kaushik has made it known that the senior leader expressed anger over the delay in approving the medical college in Kotdwar.

The BJP Uttarakhand state unit seems to have swung into damage control mode, with leaders rubbishing the talk of Rawat’s resignation. With the Assembly polls closing in, the party cannot afford such disturbances to affect its chances.

A day ago, the party had been glad that the rival Congress camp had seen a setback when former Chief Minister and party strong man Harish Rawat dropped hints of jumping ship. The Congress, somehow, managed to take control of the situation and calm it down.

BJP in for embarrassment as Rawat weighs Congress return

But now, with a similar thing happening right inside its camp, the BJP would have trouble in its hands. The party would not want Rawat to quit as he has been a strong presence in the party ever since he switched over to the BJP from the Congress fold in 2017. If he decides to return to the Congress, the BJP will be pushed to an embarrassing situation.

Uttarakhand had earlier too proved to be a concern for the BJP central leadership. The BJP had earlier on changed two chief ministers before installing Pushkar Singh Dhami on the CM’s chair. Dhami knows that well and would not want turbulence to take over. Uttarakhand’s BJP leadership would already have switched to trouble shooting mode. Will they be able to pacify Harak Singh Rawat is a question waiting tie be answered.

Back to top button