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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Notice to BJP legislator shows party stands behind CM Rawat

The buzz was that Rawat landed the top post owing to his proximity to BJP chief Amit Shah.

dehradun Updated: Feb 18, 2018 21:20 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Trivendra Singh Rawat. (HT PHOTO)

By getting a show-cause notice issued to BJP legislator Kunwar Pranab Singh on Saturday, days after his revolt against chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the party brass has sent a stern message to its Uttarakhand unit that it would brook no indiscipline.

The party brass has also made it clear that it stands behind the chief minister. The former RSS pracharak was nominated as the chief minister on March 18 by the BJP high command following the party’s landslide win in the 2017 assembly polls.

The buzz was that Rawat landed the top post owing to his proximity to BJP chief Amit Shah. However, the party high command’s decision caused heartburns among top state BJP leaders who were eyeing the top post. Those in the race included the BJP veteran from Kumaon, Prakash Pant, and former Congress strongman Satpal Maharaj, a spiritual leader who later joined the saffron party. They are now ministers in the 10-member cabinet headed by Rawat.

Equally unhappy were most of the 57 party legislators as they failed to find berths in the cabinet. It’s since been almost a year but the rumbling of a rebellion among BJP legislators doesn’t seem to subside. Its echoes are heard off and on as Rawat is yet to carry out a cabinet rejig to fill the two vacant berths.

The trouble brewing in the party was also evident from the sizeable presence of BJP MLAs in a tea party recently hosted by party veteran Ramesh Pokhriyal, which was “skipped” by the chief minister.

Reports of Rawat and Maharaj being at odds with each other keep floating around once in a while. The tourism minister is said to be upset with the CM as the latter is “giving too much importance” to his brother Bhole Maharaj. He is also said to be unhappy as “he is often ignored for the events relating to his ministry and the projects mooted by him seldom materialise.”

The same goes for 10 other former Congress heavyweights and now BJP legislators who joined the saffron party ahead of the 2017 assembly polls. They are said to be having adjustment problems within the BJP owing to its “regimented and disciplined” atmosphere.

The 10 rebels also include Singh, the four-time MLA from Khanpur who has been issued the show-cause notice and asked to submit his reply within 10 days. He invited action for accusing the chief minister of protecting corrupt officials. The legislator had also alleged that Rawat was not acting on his request to expel a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) worker Mohammad Sattar from the three-member committee “constituted by the CM” to run the affairs of the Haridwar Zila Panchayat.

Singh had also accused Rawat of protecting a ‘strong cabinet minister’ from Haridwar without naming Madan Kaushik. Incidentally, Maharaj also had a row with Kaushik a few moths back. Singh rushed to Delhi to have his grievances redressed by BJP chief Shah but that apparently did not go well with the latter as the party’s state unit subsequently issued the notice to him.

“We are a disciplined party, so it wouldn’t spare anybody who would be found guilty of violating the party discipline,” said BJP state unit chief Ajay Bhatt. “The show-cause notice issued against the legislator also means that the party stands solidly behind the chief minister,” said party’s state general secretary Naresh Bansal.

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 21:20 IST

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