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Will act as bridge between state, Centre: Anil Baluni

BJP’s national media head Anil Baluni Monday said he will act as a bridge between the Centre and the Uttarakahnd government to ensure that more centrally funded development schemes were cleared for the hill state

dehradun Updated: Mar 12, 2018 21:11 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Anil Baluni filed nomination for Rajya Sabha election at Vidhan Sabha in Dehradun on Monday. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

BJP’s national media head Anil Baluni Monday said he will act as a bridge between the Centre and the Uttarakahnd government to ensure that more centrally funded development schemes were cleared for the hill state.

Baluni, who filed nomination for the biennial election to Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand and will be elected unopposed, said he will utilise his position to ensure that the problems and issues facing the state were resolved.

“By picking me for such a key responsibility Prime Minister Narendra Modi has again expressed his faith in the people of Uttrakhand. His team has most members from this state,” Baluni said.

Originally from Pauri Garhwal, Baluni, 44, is considered close to PM and BJP chief Amit Shah. With Congress not having enough numbers to contest the poll, Baluni’s election is a mere formality considering that in the House of 70, BJP has 57 MLAs.

“I will act as a bridge between the Centre and the state government. I will work to ensure that more centrally funded development schemes are cleared for the state and that it also gets the benefits of the ongoing projects and the problems and issues facing the state are resolved,” Baluni said.

A journalist before he switched over to politics, Baluni started his political career as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to then Bihar governor Surendra Singh Bhandari. Later, he shifted to Gujarat after Bhandari was moved to that state as governor. Baluni soon came close to Modi and Shah. His political career took a leap when Shah nominated him as the party’s national spokesperson in 2014.

Baluni said BJP’s footprint is increasing fast with every election wile that of the Congress was shrinking. “The people across the country stand solidly behind our party. That is a clear indicator of PM Modi’s increasing popularity across the states. It also shows people’s desperation to get rid of the Congress owing to decades of its misrule,” he said.

This will be second time when Baluni is contesting an election. He had unsuccessfully tried to contest an assembly election from Kotdwar but his candidature was rejected owing to some technicalities.

On Monday, Baluni’s nomination to Rajya Sabha was proposed by 28 BJP legislators in the presence of chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and his cabinet colleagues. State BJP president Ajay Bhatt was also present.

Scrutiny of nomination papers will be conducted on Tuesday while the election will be held on March 23.

Rawat said Baluni’s nomination seat shows a clear thinking on part of Shah and Modi that the youth should be encouraged. “Demographically, India has the highest number of youth in the world and the issues relating to the youth can only be addressed by them only,” Rawat said. He expressed confidence that Baluni will work to address the concerns of the state’s youth.

State BJP president Bhatt said the high command’s decision to choose Baluni as a Rajya Sabha candidate was a well considered decision. “We are the world’s largest political party that believes in grooming generations of youth as our future leadership,” he said.

Describing Baluni as a “cultured and educated” youth leader, Bhatt said Baluni “also has a deep concern” for Uttarakhand.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 21:11 IST