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Congress tries to buy peace

The party has decided to rope in central leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, CP Joshi, RK Dhawan and Motilal Vora to woo sulking rebels. Anupam Trivedi reports.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2012 14:29 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Anupam Trivedi
Hindustan Times
Anupam Trivedi,Congress,Hindustan Times

The rebels within the Congress are apparently a big headache to the party, which hopes to win the assembly elections this time. However, the party is optimistic that it would succeed in mollifying most of the dissidents by January 16, the last day of withdrawal of nominations.

General secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand affairs Birendra Singh is camping in the state capital and assessing the situation. “ We are waiting till January 16. Hopefully most rebels will respect our request (to withdraw candidature),” Singh told Hindustan Times on Saturday. Singh, who has been instrumental in deciding party tickets for most of the seats, reiterated that various factors were considered before finalising the candidates.

Though he claimed tickets were distributed without bowing to pressure, rebels have their own reasons to contest as independents. A number of dissidents like Bharat Chaudhary in Rudraprayag, Deep Sharma in Rishikesh, SP Singh in Doiwala and Mantri Prasad Naithani in Devprayag may queer the pitch for party nominees.

In a last effort to pacify the rebels, the party has decided to rope in central leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, CP Joshi, RK Dhawan and Motilal Vora. These leaders have connections with state Congressmen since they have been state in-charge at some point of time. A section of partymen believes the former in-charges would be helpful in quelling the rebellion. In fact, Azad was in-charge of state Congress for a long time and had toured most parts of the state prior to 2002 polls.

He is expected to reach the state capital on Sunday. The party believes leaders like Azad are soft in their approach and can handle rebels accordingly. Similarly, CP Joshi, who is considered tough among his followers, will handle ‘tough rebels’ of the hill state. Vora’s connection with ‘old timers’ will also come handy, hopes the Congress.

Nevertheless, if rebels are creating problems in many constituencies, at the same time the party is happy at having ‘managed’ veteran leader ND Tiwari who had earlier announced to bless independent candidates. “We will gain in at least 6-7 seats in Udhamsingh Nagar district,” said Singh on NDT’s support to Congress. However, chinks surfaced in the local unit after NDT’s nephew Manish Tiwari was given ticket to contest from Gadarpur assembly seat in US Nagar.

First Published: Jan 15, 2012 14:27 IST