Kishore Upadhyay’s willingness to contest from Haridwar irks Harish Rawat faction
Former chief minister Harish Rawat a month ago publicly announced of his willingness to contest from Haridwar parliamentary constituency in the 2019 general electiondehradun Updated: Mar 31, 2018 21:54 IST
Former chief minister Harish Rawat a month ago publicly announced of his willingness to contest from Haridwar parliamentary constituency in the 2019 general election.
Now, former Congress state unit president Kishore Upadhyay has shown his willingness to contest from the seat.
It has created uproar within the party after pro-Rawat faction termed it as anti-party stance as Haridwar has been political bastion of the former chief minister. Rawat got elected as parliamentarian from the seat in 2009.
The two factions claim that their leaders were capable of regaining the seat for the party from the ruling BJP.
Former chief minister and BJP leader Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank is the current MP from the constituency.
Upadhyay, former Tehri legislator, on Friday night at Jay Ram Ashram expressed his willingness to contest from Haridwar as a large number of district party leaders urged him to do so.
“It’s overwhelming that a large number of party cadre and office bearers wants me to contest from Haridwar seat. As the state party president, I had given major preference to Haridwar and have been quite close with local people since 90s, when the separate statehood movement and inclusion of Haridwar into Uttaranchal had become a major issue,” he said.
“If the party high command directs me to contest from Haridwar, I will abide by it and will try to ensure that I win Haridwar seat for the party,” said Upadhyay.
Congress spokesperson and former Mahanagar president Anshul Shrikunj said it will be moral boosting and game changer for the Congress if Upadhyay contests from the seat.
“Upadhyay is the lone party leader who can revive the Congress in Haridwar and credit goes to him for ensuring three legislators winning on party ticket from Haridwar district,” said Shrikunj.
Congress Sewa Dal organiser Rajesh Rastogi said any other party leader, barring Rawat, have no chance of winning the Haridwar constituency for the Congress.
“Only Harish Rawat has mass and cadre following, it was evident in 2009 when he won with record 1.25 lakh votes.
“Kishore Upadhyay has been the state party president. So, he should ensure that he don’t trespass any other leader’s constituency. People and party workers want Harish Rawat to contest from Haridwar and not any other leader, who comes for just a few hours to attend party function, marriage parties or press conferences,” said Rastogi.
Since drubbing of the Congress in 2017 assembly election, particularly loss of both Rawat from Haridwar rural segment and Upadhyay from Shahspur, both the leaders are eyeing the general election for their political survival.
In the 2014 general election, Rawat had fielded his wife Renuka from Haridwar, who lost to Nishank.
In the past few months, Rawat has attended a number of programmes in the district, giving hint of his electoral plans. Similarly, Upadhyay is also frequently touring the district.