Back to work, confident Rawat clears files, meets officials
Days after he concluded the Congress’ nearly 40-day campaign for the assembly polls crisscrossing the length and breadth of Uttarakhand, chief minister Harish Rawat on Thursday chose not to sit back and relax. Instead, he met people and busied himself with various engagementsdehradun Updated: Feb 16, 2017 20:33 IST
DEHRADUN Days after he concluded the Congress’ nearly 40-day campaign for the assembly polls crisscrossing the length and breadth of Uttarakhand, chief minister Harish Rawat on Thursday chose not to sit back and relax. Instead, he met people and busied himself with various engagements.
Rawat though appeared relaxed and claimed that the Congress is set to retain power with more than two-third majority. An early riser, the chief minister reverted to his routine that he followed before the hurly-burly of the election campaign began in the state a little over a month ago.
“The chief minister may have been tired after weeks of hectic campaigning but he chose not to laze around after he got up early today,” said one of his aides at his Bijapur Guest House residence in the city’s Garhi cantonment area. “He (Rawat) was at his office sharp at 11am and went through a couple of necessary files before he cleared them.”
Half-an-hour later, he had a meeting with some officials before he had an interaction with some of his visitors who had come to see him. However, when this correspondent reached his residence at around 11:30am it largely wore a deserted look. In fact, by that time he along with a couple of his staff members and supporters in tow had already left for the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office in the Astley House area.
As soon as he stepped into the PCC office a battery of electronic media reporters mobbed him training their cameras and hurling questions at him. Rawat patiently answered their queries one after another claiming that the ruling Congress was returning to power with 45 seats in a house of 70.
“I am relaxed and confident,” a smiling chief minister told HT when asked how he felt after spearheading the Congress party’s 40-day gruelling campaign for the assembly election.
Sharing his routine he said he began his day by clearing some files at his residence. “Later, I met some experts and asked them to provide him a report on the tremors frequently occurring in the state in the last some days,” the chief minister said, adding he would spend the day interacting with people.
“Besides, I will also take stock of the political situation a day after the polling day,” he told HT. The polling for the fourth assembly went up to nearly 70% fuelling media speculation that the people had voted for change.
Later, posing before the cameras along with PCC president Kishore Upadhyay, the chief minister said the Congress would form the next government. He also accused the BJP of carrying out a negative election campaign against the Congress targeting him alleging that the opposition party splurged ₹2,000 crore on media management and its campaigning.
“Two corporate houses have done this poll funding for that party in this state. The BJP-led Centre has, in return, mortgaged the state’s natural resources like rivers that originate from here,” he alleged without revealing the names of the corporate houses. Later, Rawat told HT that he wouldn’t attend his secretariat office owing to the day’s rather packed schedule.
Officials admitted that the election commission’s poll code being effective in the state in the past for more than a month did slow down the governance.
“That is natural but the chief minister now being back in office would again help accelerate that process,” said Arvind Hyanki, an official at the CM secretariat. He clarified that the work on the ongoing projects cleared by the CM before the poll code came into effect had not been affected.