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Rebellion rears head in BJP as two MLAs accuse CM of discrimination

A row erupted in the Uttarakhand unit of BJP after at least two ruling party legislators from Haridwar accused chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat of neglecting development in their constituencies

dehradun Updated: Jul 15, 2018 22:01 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
BJP Uttarakhand unit president Ajay Bhatt says statements of the two party MLAs are being scrutinised and notices will soon be issued to them. (PTI File)

A row erupted in the Uttarakhand unit of BJP after at least two ruling party legislators from Haridwar accused chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat of neglecting development in their constituencies.

“The chief minister has not visited my constituency and those of other BJP legislators in Haridwar even once to review development works,” said Suresh Rathore, a BJP legislator from the reserved Jwalapur constituency.

“As a result, development is getting affected, which may affect the party’s prospects in the next Lok Sabha polls,” said Rathore. “The majority of 57 legislators of our party are unhappy with the chief minister and may urge the high command to have him replaced,” he said.

Haridwar district has 11 assembly constituencies and the BJP won from eight of those segments.

Rathore’s statement came a day after BJP legislator from Laksar (Haridwar) Sanjay Gupta reportedly accused the chief minister of neglecting his assembly constituency since the BJP government was formed in 2017.

“Since then the government (read chief minister) has not carried out spot inspection of development works in my constituency despite my request,” local media quoted Gupta as saying.

The Laksar MLA was also “critical” of the CM for skipping a conference recently organised by the Arya Samaj in Haridwar.

When contacted by HT on Sunday for confirmation of his statement, Gupta said he was busy and would call back but switched off his phone later.

BJP state unit president Ajay Bhatt said statements of the party MLAs were being scrutinised and notices will soon be issued to them.

“If charges against them are proved, strict disciplinary action will be taken against those who issued such statements,” he said while speaking to HT from Almora.

Reacting to Rathore’s statement about the possibility of the BJP legislators urging the high command to replace the CM, Bhatt said the party never tolerated indiscipline nor would it tolerate it in the future.

Rathore, who is a scheduled caste (SC), also alleged that the members of the SC community were being ignored by the chief minister.

“This is apparent from the regional imbalance in the 10-member state cabinet, which has two scheduled caste members and both are from Kumaon,” he said referring to Yashpal Arya and Rekha Arya.

Besides Rathore alleged that the party’s SC community from Garhwal had gone unrepresented in the cabinet.

Citing another instance of regional imbalance, Rathore said the cabinet had four ministers besides the CM, from Pauri alone. “We have a scheduled caste legislator from that district but he was not inducted into the cabinet,” he said referring to Mukesh Koli who represents 37-Pauri, a reserved assembly constituency.

Rathore said he along with other MLAs from Haridwar had personally met the chief minister and urged him to visit their constituencies to review the development works but got no clear response.

“Recently, I proposed development schemes worth several crores for my constituency when the CM was reviewing the development works in constituencies in Haridwar from Dehradun via videoconferencing but none was approved,” he said, alleging that the CM “ignored us” under the influence of cabinet minister Madan Kaushik, who represents the Haridwar assembly seat.

Kaushik couldn’t be reached for his comments despite several attempts.

Deshraj Karnwal, a BJP MLA from Jhabreda, a reserved constituency in Haridwar, dubbed allegations levelled by Gupta and Rathore as as a misleading campaign.

“The chief minister doesn’t discriminate against anybody and acts as per Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s philosophy of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (collective efforts and inclusive growth),” he said.

BJP MLA Adesh Chauhan, who represents Ranipur (Haridwar), said the CM had approved most of the proposals he submitted for development works for his constituency.

“However, party workers shouldn’t air their organisational issues through the media but should get them sorted out at the level of the organisation only.”

First Published: Jul 15, 2018 22:01 IST