Day after minister Harak Rawat walks out of cabinet, Dhami says issue resolved
State BJP chief Madan Kaushik and MLA Umang Sharma were among the other leaders who termed reports of Harak Singh Rawat’s exit as ’baseless’
A day after Uttarakhand minister Harak Singh Rawat reportedly stormed out of a cabinet meeting upset over an infrastructure project in his constituency, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami dismissed reports of the minister’s resignation.
State BJP chief Madan Kaushik and MLA Umang Sharma were among the other leaders who termed reports of Rawat’s exit as “baseless”.
Calls and texts to Rawat – who represents the Kotdwar constituency — for comment went unanswered.
Speaking to reporters in Dehradun on Saturday, Kaushik said “all is well in BJP”.
“Reports of Harak Singh resigning from the government and party are totally baseless. He has not resigned and the party is united ahead of upcoming state assembly elections,” said Kaushik.
He added that Rawat was unhappy over the issue of a proposed medical college in Kotdwar.
“Yes, there was some unhappiness on his part regarding the medical college. But it has now been solved. He is our senior leader, and party will support him,” he said.
CM Dhami too reiterated Kaushik’s statement. “The party is a family and in a family, sometimes such things happen. However, it has been solved with the government approving an initial fund of ₹5crore for the college.”
Earlier, BJP MLA and Harak Singh’s close aide Umesh Sharma had claimed that “the issue has been resolved with no resignation from Rawat.”
He said, “It was not a big issue. The episode happened over the lack of approval of a proposed medical college in his constituency of Kotdwar. It has now been resolved as the government has approved it and would likely pass its government order on Monday,” Sharma said.
The whole episode also led to speculations of Rawat joining Congress which he had left in 2016 during the party’s government under then CM Harish Rawat, who is now leading the party’s election campaign committee.
Opposition Congress meanwhile, claimed the BJP was facing factionalism.
Leader of Opposition Pritam Singh said, “BJP is reaping what it sowed… In 2016, BJP committed a felony by taking down a democratically-elected Congress government by breaking away its MLAs through money. Friday’s episode is the result. People of Uttarakhand have not forgetten,” said Singh.
Former CM and party national general secretary Harish Rawat, however, said in a veiled reference: “I have no information whether he is in touch with any of our leaders as the development is being monitored by party state president Ganesh Godiyal. However, I want to say that, those who committed crime against democracy in 2016, have to first apologise before the state’s public. I am not sitting with a stick to check who is coming to the party and who is not.”