Home Dehradun Harish Rawat manages to beat others in Cong in dominating limelight

Harish Rawat manages to beat others in Cong in dominating limelight

By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 14 Aug: Despite best of his efforts and strong lobbying, Congress High Command did not make veteran Congress leader the CM’s face in coming assembly elections in Uttarakhand. Despite this setback to some extent, Harish Rawat who is a master politician has managed to stay in limelight through his tweets, fights with several BJP leaders on several issues on twitter as well as with his recent political activities. Congress may not have put anyone forward as the chief minister’s face for the 2022 assembly elections, but due to his political depth and cleverness, former Chief Minister Harish Rawat has still managed to put the focus of political discussions on him. Others in Congress despite opposing him remain far behind in political activities as well as in political discourse. After the death of his chief opponent in Congress, Dr Indira Hridayesh, he not only managed to get Pritam Singh ousted as PCC Chief but also managed to get his now trusted lieutenant Ganesh Godiyal installed as new PCC Chief.
However, in doing so, he had to concede on several fronts as along with Godiyal, the Congress High Command chose to balance the power position in the new PCC by also installing not one but four Executive State Presidents, and despite his strong reservation, his once trusted lieutenant but a strong political opponent now in Congress, Ranjeet Rawat was also made Executive State President of the party.
However, not refusing to be cowed down by certain setbacks, the chief one being not being projected as CM’s face, he is managing to create a political discourse around himself by making well targeted attacks on BJP leadership and BJP leaders through his tweets and in return getting the BJP leaders engaged by responding to his tweets. This has managed to keep him in limelight in the media too. Others in the party are still appearing to be laidback in their approach even as the elections are approaching in the state. They still remain focused on traditional rallies and dharnas from Rajeev Bhawan, the Congress State Headquarters in Rajpur Road. Their rallies begin at Rajeev Bhawan and end up at Gandhi Park or at the most at the Clock Tower. No other leader in the Congress has as many followers on social media and within the mainstream media. Hence, in the Uttarakhand Congress, it is Harish Rawat who is making the news. Whether it is a matter of political activism or allegations and counter-allegations between the ruling party and the opposition, Harish Rawat is at the centre of discussion.
Staying in limelight does have its advantages, the chief one being in staying in news and making the people of Uttarakhand aware of his actions and statements on a regular basis. Godiyal, despite becoming the new PCC Chief is only appearing to work for him rather than staying in limelight or taking any strong decisions within the party. His predecessor and now the Leader of the Opposition, Pritam Singh has also failed to make himself appealing for the people across the state. His political influence in the people remains largely restricted to his own region Chakrata and Dehradun. A long period of lockdown during the Corona pandemic did not help him either and a lot of his time as PCC Chief was also lost in the pandemic restricting his movements within the state. The sudden death of Indira Hridayesh is another setback for him and all the political opponents of Harish Rawat as she was one leader who could openly dare to challenge Rawat in the political arena of Congress. She had a pan state acceptance.
The battle for the 2022 assembly elections in the state is going to be very interesting. In this battle, once again, Harish Rawat is trying his best and quite effectively to project himself as the chief general of the party as had been the case in 2017 when he was the Chief Minister also. However, that was a badly lost battle for him as not only the party could not win even 20 seats but also Rawat lost on both the seats he contested. However, despite such a huge loss, he rose like a phoenix in the Congress and managed to get nominated as the National General Secretary of the Party. He does hold a strong influence in the Congress High Command. However, despite his own efforts in projecting himself as the main leader in the Congress in the upcoming election keeping the command of the election campaign of the party as the chief of the election campaign committee, it can’t be stated that the Congress High Command will certainly choose him to be the CM in case of a majority win in upcoming assembly elections. This is something not in his hands at all.
While in 2017, as a CM, he had to fight a strong anti incumbency against the party and against himself too, he is now hoping that it is BJP that will face a similar anti-incumbency after having been in power for five years and having changed the CM twice within this period.
However, in Pushkar Singh Dhami, the new CM of Uttarakhand, he does face a young and energetic leader who is trying his best now to infuse confidence and morale in the BJP in order to be able to overcome anti-incumbency and achieve something that has never happened in Uttarakhand so far, the retention of power. Rawat hopes that the trend of power change in every election will continue this time also. Meanwhile to ensure this he is using the media tools in a way to stay in news and will continue to do so till the elections. It is his ability and political shrewdness that he managed to corner all limelight within the Congress sometimes by targeting ex Congress leaders who had switched over to BJP in the last elections and sometimes targeting Modi and the CM and the ex-CMs. Some BJP leaders by responding to him and engaging with him are probably helping his own game plan only.