Home Dehradun Infighting in U’khand Cong intensifies as PCC Chief reacts to criticism

Infighting in U’khand Cong intensifies as PCC Chief reacts to criticism

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 5 Apr: The Congress in Uttarakhand has always been ridden with factionalism just as in other states. However, from time to time, the infighting keeps coming to the fore. These days, the infighting within the Uttarakhand Congress seems to have intensified yet again with PCC Chief Karan Mahra, too, jumping in with a public statement issued today.

In the statement, Mahra appealed to all the party leaders not to voice their opinions through statements or interviews in the print or electronic media or through social media, but present their opinions at appropriate forums of the party only. Mahra admitted that, by making such statements in public, the image of the Congress party was getting tarnished. The statement was issued through Congress Vice President (Organisation) Mathuradutt Joshi.

The latest round of infighting came to the fore when senior Congress leader and Kichha MLA Tilak Raj Behad issued a statement that, in the party organisation, Garhwal region has not been given due representation. While Behad, himself, comes from Kumaon, h e is not considered to be close to the present state leadership of the party, which is dominated by the Harish Rawat camp. Behad had belonged to the ND Tiwari and Indira Hridayesh camp but following the latter’s death, he is now part of the anti-Harish Rawat faction. Next day, Pritam Singh, who is ex-PCC Chief and a former Leader of the Opposition also seconded Behad’s views in an interview. He has been voicing his opinion against the current leader in charge of the party affairs in Uttarakhand, Devendra Yadav. Yesterday, he went out of the way to criticise Yadav. He stated that, those who do not understand the basics of politics, have been unfortunately appointed as leaders in charge of party affairs in the state. He claimed that Yadav, instead of coordinating with various leaders and trying to make the relationship between various leaders cordial, is promoting factionalism. He was also missing from Uttarakhand ever since the assembly elections held last year. Singh further accused Yadav of misleading the Party High Command and the central leadership on Uttarakhand.

Singh’s statement became viral yesterday and this resulted in party spokesperson Garima Mahra Dasauni to also make a statement, reminding both Singh and Behad that, in the past, the post of PCC Chief and the post of Leader of the Opposition were both held by leaders from Garhwal, namely Ganesh Godiyal and Pritam Singh, respectively, but no one had objected then. She wondered why objections were being raised now when both these posts are held by leaders from Kumaon. She further stated that no one should see Uttarakhand from a narrow Garhwal or Kumaon point of view but do so in an integrated manner.

Karan Mahra, on the other hand, today claimed that the by-election in Champawat, which was won by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, was lost because of such infighting and such public statements issued by various leaders against one another.  He said that such statements had the potential to affect the party’s position in the upcoming Civic, Panchayat and Parliamentary elections. He called for unity among the leaders and said that all should realise that no one is above the party’s interests.

Sources in the party claim that certain veteran and senior party leaders don’t voice their dissenting opinion in public but remain active behind the doors to promote factionalism. They, however, praised the current Leader of the Opposition, Yashpal Arya, who returned to the party fold before the last assembly elections, last year, for responsible conduct. They claimed that Arya is trying to stay above the factionalism though he once belonged to the ND Tiwari and Indira Hridayesh faction. He is now attacking the Dhami Government on various issues on a daily basis instead of making any public statement regarding the party.