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Ominous Sign?


While paying tribute to the recently expired ND Tiwari in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday, Minister Harak Singh Rawat chose to recall having conspired to topple the late leader’s government. Rawat claimed he had the support of as many as 28 MLAs and that he was in touch with BJP leaders, the late Pramod Mahajan, and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, in this regard. He was dissuaded from carrying out his plans by Vijay Bahuguna. (This was possibly one of the reasons why Tiwari had gone on a ‘lal batti’ distribution spree to shore up support within his party and government.)
Rawat eventually did topple a Congress Government – that of Harish Rawat – in 2016, but only for a while. Along with others, he did defect to the BJP and is now enjoying the benefits of this political maneuver. It may have been a nostalgic trip down memory lane, or a moment of indiscretion by someone not exactly known for minding his words, but it could also be a veiled warning to the current dispensation. It must be remembered that during Tiwari’s chief ministership, serious allegations had been leveled against Rawat by a woman. At present, also, as Ayush Minister, he is being accused of conflict of interest in dealing with Ayurvedic Colleges. It may be a warning not to mess with him.
Rawat’s muscular politics emanates from the fact that his dependence on a party ticket to win elections is low. He also has a considerable support base that influences other constituencies in his area. Unlike many others, he has only gone from strength to strength in political terms, despite the fact that he has changed parties more than once. As such, any boasts he makes with regard to toppling governments will be taken seriously.
The present BJP Government suffers from an embarrassment of riches. It has a large number of MLAs and not enough ministries to go around. There is bound to be discontentment. In the present day and age, even the supposedly disciplined and committed legislators of the BJP cannot be trusted to put party above personal interest. Also, there are the recent entrants from the Congress, whose ideological inclinations are not necessarily in sync with the Sangh Parivar. As such, the possibilities that arise, should conspiracies take root, must send shivers down the spine of the current leadership.
Of course, this is merely in the realm of speculation based on a simple revelation of past deeds. However, as the saying goes, ‘forewarned is forearmed’.