DEHRADUN: As Uttarakhand goes to the polls on Wednesday, BJP state president Ajay Bhatt says he is confident of his party’s victory in the assembly election. “People will vote us to power as they want to get rid of this corrupt Congress regime headed by chief minister Harish Rawat,” Bhatt said.
Bhatt feels corruption in the Rawat regime was the main poll issue this time. “That’s why this assembly election is different from all the three preceding assembly elections held in the mountain state since it came into being 16 years ago”, Bhatt claimed.
In a chat with HT on the eve of the polling day he said people would vote for the BJP as they expect it to speed up the state’s impeded growth. He agreed that the sentiment is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to ensure all-round development in the state.
Modi had also warned of legal action against those running the Congress government for their involvement in corruption. “Like his (Modi) promise to speed up development in the state, his warning of legal action against the corrupt Rawat regime was also justified,” Bhatt said, adding that the people were desperate to vote for the BJP because the party (Congress) in power has left them disappointed on both fronts.
“People are peeved with the ruling party, especially after a case of corruption against the chief minister surfaced”, the BJP leader said, referring to a sting video that “showed him (chief minister) offering bribes to nine dissident legislators to save his government” in the wake of the last year’s political crisis.
“Besides, a series of scams relating to the relief works post 2013 floods, illicit liquor and mining that tumbled out of the (Rawat) government’s closet, one after another, also tarnished the state’s image”, Bhatt alleged. He also accused the ruling Congress leaders of spreading terror by engineering attacks on officials who initiated action against the mining mafia.
“These were no small issues…They were big issues in a small state”, Bhatt said adding that people would vote the BJP to power also because they “are badly fed up” with the wishful schemes the CM had announced since taking over in 2014.
“For instance, he (chief minister) announced 200 development schemes for my assembly constituency but none of them was implemented”, Bhatt said, referring to Ranikhet from where he is re-contesting election.
He also rubbished the Congress’ allegations that PM Modi reduced himself to being the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate with the way he went about campaigning for his party in the state. “Modiji is the Prime Minister of this country. So, it was only natural that he shared with people his roadmap for the state’s development”, Bhatt said adding that the ruling Congress had no right to object to that. “It has no right because that (Rawat) regime siphoned off all the funds the BJP-led Centre released for the state’s development”, he alleged.