With political alignments changing in Uttarakhand, the Congress has started aggressively campaigning in the state, even as the party and its rebel legislators are embroiled in a legal tangle in the high court that has stretched “beyond their expectations”. There seems no early breather from the court, with multiple petitions pending before it.
In two separate petitions, former chief minister Harish Rawat has challenged the President’s Rule and Centre’s ordinance on Appropriation Bill. The court has said it will hear the case on April 18. The rebel legislators have challenged their disqualification, with the next hearing in this case due on April 23.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has so far only played a spectator’s role in the court.
The former CM has started touring the hills as part of his campaigns, holding meetings in Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar district, Uttarkashi and Dehradun.
Uttarakhand Congress chief Kishor Upadhyay has also touched base at the consistencies of the rebel legislators in the last few days. Updahyay says his party is already in election mode and is prepared to face their opponents.
“As a political party we are supposed to be geared up 24x7. The BJP and the rebels have been exposed and we are getting massive support from people wherever we are going,” Upadhyay told HT.
Rebel MLA Harak Singh Rawat, who presently represents Rudraprayag constituency, is busy meeting workers at Dehradun. He and fellow legislator Subodh Uniyal recently inspected an under-construction government medical college. The buzz is that Harak Singh Rawat is considering contesting from the Dehradun district.
“This is certain that I will not contest from Rudryaprayag” he told HT without divulging further details.
Meanwhile, Nainital MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who is the BJP’s face in Uttarakhand, was camping in Dehradun for the last week but as the legal battle stretched, he moved to New Delhi. Koshyari’s team says it’s a “routine movement”.
However, Koshyari is reaching Haldwani on Thursday and is expected to reach out to his voters in the constituency.