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Eye on 2019 polls, Rawat govt set to award workers with minister ranks posts

The move comes just days after some legislators openly criticised chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat for neglecting development in their constituencies

dehradun Updated: Jul 19, 2018 22:07 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
2019 polls,Lok Sabha polls,Minister rank
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.(HT File )

The BJP brass has given a green signal to the Uttarakhand government for distribution of minister-rank posts among workers amid the rumblings of a rebellion in the party. The move comes just days after some legislators openly criticised chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat for neglecting development in their constituencies.

The open rebellion by the ruling party MLAs ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections had left the BJP leadership in a tizzy. Consequently, there is a strong possibility that minister rank posts would be distributed before the local urban body polls that are likely to be held in September. BJP insiders claimed that a decision has been taken at a closed-door meeting of the party’s top organisational leaders held in Delhi on Wednesday night.

The meeting was attended by state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt, Rawat, and the general secretary of the party’s Uttarakhand unit Sanjay Kumar. The representatives of the BJP high command who attended the meeting include the party’s state in-charge Shaym Jaju and its co-joint general secretary, organisation, Shiv Prakash, among others.

Jaju confirmed the reports that minister-rank posts would soon be distributed among party workers. “The announcements of distribution of all such responsibilities would soon be made,” he said. Jaju said that both “types of responsibilities pertaining to the heads of corporations and commissions would be assigned to” party workers.

BJP insiders said that the party organisation and the Rawat government had finalised the names of some 30 workers for such posts some months back. But their names were not announced owing to the problem of plenty dogging the BJP. “Ours is a party with a huge mass base having some 16 lakh bona fide members…There are some 1000 of them aspiring for the minister-level posts which are limited and can’t be distributed among all of them,” Bhatt had recently said.

Party insiders, however, say that 30 workers whose names had been filalised could now be distributed posts. “The process is on,” Jaju said without specifying the number of party aspirants whose names could be announced in the first phase.

The BJP’s state in-charge, however, denied that the party decided in favour of allocating minister-rank positions owing to growing discontent among cadres. “Those responsibilities should have been assigned long ago and will be delegated very shortly,” he said. Jaju also denied the reports that the high command is taking up the exercise with an eye on the coming general elections.

Pressure had, however, started mounting on the chief minister to allocate the posts some months after the BJP won the 2017 assembly polls with a three-fourth majority. But soon the discontent started growing among party workers on the issue. It manifested itself about a year ago when most of the 57 ruling party MLAs attended a tea party hosted by former chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank. Recently, former state BJP president Bishan Singh Chuphal openly cautioned that any delay in allocating minister-level posts among party workers would dampen their morale, which would end up affecting the party’s chances in the coming Lok Sabha polls. The discontent in the party came out in the open last week when three of its MLAs from Haridwar—Sanjay Gupta, Suresh Rathore and Yatishwarnand criticised the chief minister for neglecting development in their constituencies. In private most of the BJP MLAs voice similar concerns.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 22:07 IST