Uttarakhand Cong accuses ruling BJP of ‘political vendetta’
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Uttarakhand Cong accuses ruling BJP of ‘political vendetta’

dehradun Updated: Oct 23, 2017 20:45 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times

The Uttarakhand Congress has alleged that its leaders are being ‘targeted’ by the BJP. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT)

Accusing the BJP of waging vendetta politics, the state Congress has alleged that its leaders and workers were being “targeted” by the state government, even as cases against the ruling party’s own leaders were being withdrawn.

A delegation of the Congress party leaders recently met chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and urged him to “stop the vindictive treatment being meted out to the Opposition leaders” under his government.

With “no action in sight” so far, the Congress leaders are now gearing up to hold a mass protest against the BJP government in Dehradun on October 25, wherein party legislators and leaders from all over the state will take part.

Citing cases in support of the party charge, Congress leader Indira Hridayesh said, “Dharchula legislator Harish Dhami had been harassed by the police and panchayat leaders affiliated to Congress are being intimidated around the state. A search was conducted by the police at night in the house of a woman Congress leader from Dharchula without a search warrant and in the absence of a woman constable.”

Hridayesh, who is also the leader of the Congress’s Legislative Party that comprises 11 MLAs, also recounted how the bar license of the husband of another woman Congress leader from Ranikhet was cancelled allegedly at the behest of the BJP government. “The BJP government did not even leave the students’ union elections of MB PG College, Haldwani, which witnessed undue intervention from a minister of state. Even our students’ wing (National Students Union of India) candidates were intimidated,” alleged Hridayesh.

State Congress president Pritam Singh said it was “unfortunate that the Congress leaders are being harassed even when cases against BJP members are being dropped”. Soon after taking over the reins of Uttarakhand in March this year, the BJP government had announced that it will withdraw “politically motivated cases” that were lodged against its leaders during the erstwhile Congress government.

Earlier this month, the home department issued a letter directing the Dehradun district magistrate to ensure withdrawal of case against BJP lawmaker Ganesh Joshi, who was booked in March last year for allegedly injuring police horse Shaktiman (which later died), a case that went on to hog national limelight. Cases against cabinet minister Arvind Pandey and BJP legislators Puran Singh Fartyal and Rajkumar Thukral are also likely to be withdrawn, according to sources.

The ruling BJP, however, trashed the Congress’s allegations, claiming it was, in fact, the (former) Congress government that had originally wanted to exact political revenge by slapping cases against the saffron party leaders during its rule. “We’re only withdrawing cases wherein our members were deliberately framed for wrongdoing,” state BJP president Ajay Bhatt said. “As for their claims (of Congress leaders being targeted), I think law is the same for all and the government will let the law take its own course,” Bhatt added.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 20:45 IST