The BJP in Uttarakhand will take its top central leaders’ help to reverse public perception that the Centre tried to topple the state’s elected Congress government and stem the party’s sliding popularity ahead of the 2017 assembly elections.
The possibility of snap polls has also driven the opposition party to seek its central leadership’s help.
The BJP can ill-afford snap polls when its popularity has hit a trough. To resurrect its fortunes, the state unit has requested central ministers and BJP president Amit Shah to visit the state.
Shah will be in Haridwar on June 25 to address a public meeting. He will preside over the BJP’s state council meeting in Haldwani the next day.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh is slated to address a public meeting in Vikasnagar on June 17 while minister of state for petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan will attend a rally in Srinagar on June 9. Union HRD minister Smriti Irani will visit Roorkee but the date of her visit is yet to be finalised.
State BJP general secretary Khajan Das said these visits will help galvanise the party cadre. “This is part of our preparation for the assembly elections for which not much time is left,” he said on Sunday.
Das agreed that the visits would help fight the perception that the party tried to topple the Harish Rawat government.
“This false impression will be dispelled, thanks to a series of programmes our party will soon organise across the state,” he said.
The programmes will highlight achievements of the NDA government during its two years in power. “Besides, our leaders will explain how Rawat government was not toppled by the NDA government but it reduced to a minority owing to infighting within the Congress.”
But state BJP president Ajay Bhatt articulated the party’s biggest worry at the moment — that chief minister Rawat could recommend early polls as he was facing squabbles within the party.
More than that, Rawat could use the imposition of President’s rule in the hill state for nearly two months since March 27 after nine Congress dissident lawmakers sided with the BJP to show the opposition in a poor light, sources said.
Ever since he won a Supreme Court-monitored trust vote on May 10, he has been telling the electorate how the BJP tried to shortchange his elected government. This has put the BJP on the back foot.