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Representational Image.

Uttarakhand assembly polls a yr away, BJP starts prep; Cong faces infighting

Uttarakhand BJP president Bansidhar Bhagat has formed a five-member committee under the leadership of Rajya Sabha member Naresh Bansal for preparing a road map for the 2022 elections
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 05:12 PM IST

With just about a year left for the next assembly elections to be held in Uttarakhand, while the ruling BJP presses ahead to chalk out the strategy for elections, the Opposition Congress seems to be entangled in infighting.

A few days ago, Uttarakhand BJP president Bansidhar Bhagat formed a five-member committee under the leadership of Rajya Sabha member Naresh Bansal for preparing a road map for the 2022 elections. The committee will give recommendations on the issues to be taken up during campaigning and mass outreach. The five-member committee has, apart from Bansal, state BJP general secretaries Ajaey Kumar, Kuldeep Kumar, Suresh Bhatt and minister Dhan Singh Rawat.

Meanwhile, the Congress is yet to bridge the rift caused by former chief minister and party national general secretary Harish Rawat asking the leadership to announce the CM face of the party for 2022 elections and remove him from the collective leadership.

Rawat’s statement a few days ago has made the state leadership, including party state president Pritam Singh and leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh, uneasy as their differences are an open secret.

Political experts say such differences would hurt the party’s preparations for the assembly elections.

SMA Kazmi, Dehradun-based political expert who has been keeping an eye on the state’s political scenario since its formation in 2000, said, “BJP has always been miles ahead of Congress when it comes to poll preparations. Now with fresh infighting, things don’t seem to look up for the Congress for the coming elections either.”

“The Congress can’t compete with BJP in terms of resources, organisational structure, planning and discipline. On top of that, their high command is very weak in comparison to that of BJP’s,” he said.

“Since 2002 when ND Tiwari was the state’s first CM in the Congress government, Harish Rawat has been going in a different direction. It continued in Vijay Bahuguna’s time. Till this factionalism ends, the Congress will fail to capitalise on the current public sentiment against CM Trivendra Singh Rawat,” he said.

The Congress, however, said that the party would fight unitedly in the 2022 assembly elections. “Our state in-charge Devendra Yadav has said we will be fighting under a collective leadership in the 2022 assembly polls. We are fully prepared for the elections in which the public will bring us back to power against the BJP which has done nothing in its tenure so far,” said state unit chief Pritam Singh.

However, BJP state unit vice-president Devendra Bhasin said, “Congress should first put its house in order before dreaming of winning the elections. People of the state know what our government has done for them in terms of development. They are supporting us tremendously.”

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