By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 21 Jan: There are at present 113 living former MLAs in Uttarakhand. Recently, an umbrella organisation had been set up of the former MLAs and former BJP MLA Lakhi Ram Joshi had been chosen to lead this organisation, as the president of the association. Today, it was for the first time that a meeting of this organisation was held in Dehradun. However, the meeting which comprised of MLAs cutting across the political spectrum got politicised, and here the policies and functioning of the present BJP Government were severely criticised by several members. This led to heated arguments between several members. Former Kichha MLA and BJP leader Rajesh Shukla left the meeting in between, while opposing the move of several former MLAs of criticising the government. In all, around 25 MLAs were present in the meeting including former Chief Ministers, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Harish Rawat and former Cabinet Minister Harak Singh Rawat. Others also present were Heera Singh Bist, Shoorvir Singh Sajwan and President Lakhi Ram Joshi
Shukla was of the opinion that in the meeting, points of the discussion ought to have been the objectives with which the organisation had been established and not politics. In fact, he had heated argument with several other former MLAs present in the meeting in respect of what ought to have been discussed in the meeting.
It may be recalled that the former MLAs had called for CBI investigation into irregularities in recruitments held for government posts in Uttarakhand, also strict action against politicians and bureaucrats responsible for the irregularities. Other issues discussed included restoration of old pension scheme and 70 percent reservation in government jobs for local youth. Several former MLAs said that being public representatives and social workers, they would like to present their views to the government through this meeting so that their opinions were taken cognisance of by the government.
Harish Rawat said that it was a good initiative. In which way former MLAs would be able to ensure their participation in the development of the state and also keep their many demands.
Former MLAs shared their views in the one-day conference held in Dehradun Vidhan Sabha Bhawan. Former MLAs said that the issues they had included in their conference would be conveyed to the government.