By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun/New Delhi: 28 Sep: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is in Delhi since yesterday in order to meet the top BJP brass and some union ministers not only to pursue matters related to the state but also to discuss the political situation in Uttarakhand. Dhami’s current Delhi visit is being considered very crucial in view of the fact that there is lot of public ire and tension prevailing in Uttarakhand over recruitment scams related to UKSSSC, irregular appointments made by different speakers in the Assembly Secretariat and over the Ankita Bhandari murder case which allegedly involves an influential BJP family.
Today, the CM met BJP General Secretary BL Santosh at the Party Headquarters in New Delhi and briefed him about the situation in Uttarakhand and the possible political implications of the recent developments. Not only this, Dhami also sought guidance from his political mentor and Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in New Delhi and held a meeting with him for over 2 hours.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami shared details of the Ankita Murder case and the progress made in the investigation of the case with BJP general secretary BL Santosh. He also informed Santosh that the Uttarakhand Government has announced a compensation of Rs 25 lakhs for the victim’s family.
According to sources, a detailed discussion was held between the two BJP leaders regarding the controversy and the alleged involvement of some BJP leaders in the case. Santosh was told that the Uttarakhand BJP had already expelled former senior leader Vinod Arya and his son Pulkit Arya from the BJP. Not only this, Pulkit’s elder brother, who held a post in the OBC Commission, was also asked to resign. The CM is learnt to have assured the BJP leadership that the SIT investigation is progressing well and the government would ensure strictest punishment to the guilty.
Sources also claimed that Dhami discussed other politically relevant issues with Santosh including the issue of irregular appointments made by Cabinet Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal in the Assembly Secretariat when he was the Speaker of the previous assembly. The BJP General Secretary was told that the current Speaker, Ritu Khanduri, had already issued orders terminating all the irregular appointments in the Assembly Secretariat post 2012 including those who had been appointed by the then Speaker and predecessor of Aggarwal, Govind Singh Kunjwal, who is a Congress leader.
The sources did not rule out a discussion on possible cabinet reshuffle in Uttarakhand which is expected to happen anytime after Navratri. Dhami has not returned to Dehradun and is likely to stay for more time in Delhi. He could meet BJP President JP Nadda tomorrow to take a final call on the cabinet reshuffle. According to the political speculation that is rife in Uttarakhand and also within the state BJP, one to three ministers of the Dhami cabinet could be dropped and new faces brought in, besides changing the portfolios of the ministers in the coming fortnight.
It is also pertinent to point out here that, currently, Cabinet Ministers Satpal Maharaj and Dhan Singh Rawat as well as BJP President Mahendra Bhatt and the Speaker, Ritu Khanduri, are also in New Delhi and their visits, though independent of each other, are being linked with a possible reshuffle in the Dhami cabinet.