The Congress leadership decided to stick to its plans to nominate Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat’s loyalist despite the spectre of revolt in the hill state.
The decision came hours ahead of the nomination filing process, and on a day that Rawat rushed to Delhi to meet the central leadership.
“National parties don’t change stand…party will go ahead with the Pradeep Tamta” told a senior Congress leader to HT on Monday evening, after reports that it may drop Tamta’s name to quell the differences.
The decision to announce former parliamentarian Pradeep Tamta last week as the Congress candidate for the Upper House of Parliament, for which election is due on June 11, did not go down well with alliance partner People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and senior cabinet minister Yashpal Arya.
Tamta’s nomination was a surprising move even for Congress leaders in the state.
He has offered to give up his candidature after the controversy, sources said. In a letter to Ambika Soni, the Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand, he mentioned that the party should nominate someone else to end the crisis.
Some semblance of reconciliation was noticed on Monday as Congress chief whip Indira Hridayesh said the lawmakers will ensure victory for the candidate chosen by party president Sonia Gandhi.
“I am not interested in knowing (what Tamta has written). Our job is to ensure victory for the official candidate,” she said.
Meanwhile in a bid to placate Arya, government on Monday appointed two officials of ‘his choice’ in the US Nagar district. IAS
Brijesh Sant was appointed as district magistrate while IPS AS Takawale was appointed as senior superintendent of police.
Similarly Dinesh Dhane, an independent legislator who stated that he will be contesting RS poll was also mollified. Dhane who is tourism minister in Rawat’s candidate was reportedly annoyed with an IAS official C Ravishankar, heading government run corporation – GMVN. The official was removed from the post.
“What fun in politics if one doesn’t face challenges,” CM Rawat said jokingly before leaving for New Delhi, apparently hinting on ‘crisis management’.