By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 23 Dec: The crisis in Uttarakhand Congress seems to have snowballed after its veteran leader Harish Rawat’s tweets against his own party yesterday. Following the tweets, many of the close confidantes of Harish Rawat began last evening to issue statements of solidarity with Harish Rawat, on the one hand, and against the leader in charge of the Party affairs in Uttarakhand, Devendra Yadav, on the other. At the same time, the leaders considered to be in the anti-Harish Rawat camp also started to issue statements in support of the Leader of the Opposition, Pritam Singh, and Devendra Yadav.
Taking serious note of the developments in Uttarakhand, all the senior leaders including Pritam Singh, PCC Chief Ganesh Godiyal, former PCC Chief Kishore Upadhyay and Harish Rawat have been summoned to Delhi by the Party High Command. All the leaders are learnt to have left already for Delhi where some meetings are likely to be held tomorrow. The party high command will try to pacify all the factions and create a balance between them as a damage control exercise.
Meanwhile, today, in a statement, Harish Rawat seemed to have softened his stand somewhat. He said he had tweeted routinely expressing his views yesterday, too, and did not believe that it was such a big issue. However, he was “dismayed” to see that his tweets were the headlines in most newspapers today. He also indicated that he did not intend to take political sanyas at this juncture when the Congress needed to be strengthened.
Sources in Delhi claim that despite the persistent demand of Harish Rawat to be declared the CM candidate in the upcoming assembly polls in Uttarakhand, it is not likely to happen as it could further precipitate the crisis in the party. Sources also claim that Harish Rawat is playing pressure tactic through his tweets as he not only wanted to be declared the CM candidate but also wanted a completely free hand in choosing candidates as well as in leading the campaign as per his desire.
Sources close to Pritam Singh, on the other hand, claim that while agreeing that Harish Rawat was the tallest leader in Uttarakhand, one individual could not be given total freedom in deciding everything. They added that they expected Rawat to have an upper hand on many decisions, given his seniority and stature in the party, but letting everything into his hands was not acceptable to them. They also lamented that Rawat going public yesterday had damaged the party’s image and dented its preparations for the coming polls.
Meanwhile, all the Congress meetings that had been scheduled and the rallies, etc., have been put on hold till the issue is settled by the Party High Command. It is being claimed that Rahul Gandhi will hold the meetings to work out an acceptable solution to the current crisis.
By Arun Pratap Singh