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Political Posturing


Harak Singh Rawat of the BJP (at least for now), and Harish Rawat of the Congress, have taken their prima donna attitudes to an unprecedented level, greatly embarrassing their patrons in their respective parties. They do so in the confident belief that their antics matter little to their captive voters. It would be reasonable to assume that someone like Harish Rawat, who lost simultaneously from two disparate constituencies in the last assembly election, would be cautious in his approach, but he continues to play a disruptive game uncaring of the consequences. Harak Singh, who has reason to be more confident, having played a winner’s hand thus far, does not have too many options for party-jumping, any more. Both are making the effort not just to consolidate their own positions, but also induct as many of their followers into the list of party candidates.

The respective party high commands will, of course, bide their time. The BJP, in particular, does not brook such indiscipline for very long and, therefore, Harak Singh had better make the right choices. In fact, both the major parties can do each other a favour by pitting high quality candidates against these two. Given even reasonably good alternatives, the voters could spring a surprise in the coming election.

It is quite obvious that the recent farmers’ agitation has caused nervousness in the BJP, which was otherwise confident of returning to power in Uttarakhand. It is reported that surveys have been conducted by both parties on constituency-wise moods and, possibly, the results are not as clear-cut as desired. While the likes of Harak may have been consistently challenging the party leadership in the state, a number of MLAs have also failed to perform up to expectations. These will have to be culled and new candidates put up in their place. This requires finesse and the party can’t have a leader like Harak Singh rallying the malcontents and rejected to his ‘cause’.

While the ongoing events are not good in the political sense, it is interesting drama that will keep people entertained as the elections near. It must be remembered, however, that there are important choices to be made which will decide the direction the state and India will take in the future.