File photo: Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.(Shahbaz Khan)
File photo: Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat.(Shahbaz Khan)

Harish Rawat urges Cong high command to declare CM candidate for 2022 polls

  • The bickering in Uttarakhand Congress over who will lead the party as the chief ministerial candidate in the 2022 assembly polls has come out in the open.
By Neeraj Santoshi, Dehradun
UPDATED ON JAN 11, 2021 06:24 PM IST

Senior Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has urged party high command to declare the chief ministerial candidate for the 2022 polls to stop damage due to ongoing factionalism in the party. He said it should also be made clear that the person who leads the party in the elections will be the chief ministerial candidate. This is being seen as a direct claim by Rawat for leading the party in the polls.

Rawat, while expressing his gratitude to the Uttarakhand Congress in-charge Devendra Yadav, tweeted on Monday, “Thank you Devendra Yadav ji…for increasing my respect…But why Harish Rawat….the electoral fight is incomplete without every single leader and party worker….without much delay, the party should declare the commander (senapati) of the electoral strategy for 2022 elections…the party should also make this clear that in the case Congress wins the elections, the same person would be chosen as the chief minister…”

“If we go into elections not clear about all this, it will not be good for the party… the morale of the party cadre is getting affected by undue speculations and groupism….factionism has reached to the level of workers… whosoever the party decides as the leader, I will be behind that person….we have many experienced and energetic people in the party…the high command needs to declare one name and lead us ahead,” his tweet read.

Rawat’s bold assertion has not gone well with senior party leaders in the state.

Suryakant Dhasmana, Congress state vice president said recently, during the three-day tour of Devendra Yadav, he had said that Pritam Singh is the party president and the elections would be fought collectively with the blessings of Harish Rawat and leader of opposition Indira Hridayesh.

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“So it has been made clear that the Congress doesn’t believe in declaring the CM candidate before the elections. We will fight collectively and then when we win the elections, the party will decide the CM candidate,” he said.

The BJP said it was Congress’s internal matter, but indicative of the fact that Congress is ridden with factionalism.

State BJP president Bansidhar Bhagat said Congress is dreaming of winning elections. “People know who they have to choose. It doesn’t concern us at all what Congress is doing about its CM candidate,” he said.

The bickering in Uttarakhand Congress over who will lead the party as the chief ministerial candidate in the 2022 assembly polls has come out in the open in the last few months.

Congress had even issued a statement in November that it will be state Congress president Pritam Singh who will lead the party in 2022 elections.

Many senior Congress leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Pradeep Tamta, senior Congress MLA Govind Singh Kunjwal, Dharchula MLA Harish Dhami, former Almora MLA Manoj Tiwari, have been projecting Harish Rawat as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in the forthcoming assembly elections in 2022. This has not gone well with state president Pritam Singh and his supporters.

The infighting in the state unit is raging ahead of the elections, especially at a time when the party is trying to strengthen itself at the grassroots level. Some Congress leaders have even indirectly attacked Harish Rawat, blaming him for the 2017 election loss.

Rawat had responded saying, “I have been at the forefront of election campaigns from 2002 to 2019. These statistics masters ought to stop counting my wins and losses and move forward”.

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