Chief minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday said BJP’s first list of candidates for the state “promotes dynastic politics” and is full of defectors against whom the saffron party itself used to level corruption charges at one time.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is advising partymen to stay away from promoting dynastic politics whereas his own party’s list of candidates for Uttarakhand seems to promote the malaise,” Rawat told reporters here.
BJP’s first list of 64 candidates includes former CM BC Khanduri’s daughter Ritu Khanduri Bhushan, former CM Vijay Bahuguna’s son Saurabh, Congress turncoat Amrita Rawat’s husband Satpal Maharaj besides the father-son duo of Yashpal Arya and Sanjeev who joined the saffron party hours before it announced their candidature.
Referring to Congress turncoats fielded by BJP, he said they were the same leaders whom the party had accused of having indulged in disaster scam, seed scam, land scam, polyhouse scam, mining scam in Dabka and Kosi rivers, depositing huge amounts in demonetised currency in cooperative banks, and stalling Vidhan Sabha proceedings for 12 days. “It is strange that the same leaders are now running the BJP in Uttarakhand,” Rawat said.
Asked whether these turncoats have deserted the Congress because of his high-handed style, Rawat replied in the negative and accused BJP of engineering the defections.
Describing those who had deserted Congress as cheats, he said, “History remembers brave and loyal soldiers not renegades.”
When asked whether BJP renegades would be welcomed into the Congress, he said possibilities always exist in politics but any decision will be taken on the basis of merit.
Scotching speculation that he had asked for tickets for his family members, Rawat said the party had decided to field not more than one candidate from a family. “A candidate’s work and their ability to win are the primary considerations for giving tickets to aspirants but the party has decided to field just one candidate from a family. The principle was followed while announcing candidates for Punjab and the same will be done in Uttarakhand,” he said.
Speculation was rife that Rawat was seeking tickets for his wife Renuka, his sons Anand and Virendra and daughter Anupama.
Rawat also said the party will announce its candidates for the February 15 polls in Uttarakhand after January 19.