By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 5 Jun: Chief Minister, Tirath Singh Rawat, today called on Home Minister, Amit Shah, at his official residence in New Delhi. This one to one meeting lasted more than one hour. Sources close to the CM claimed that among the issues discussed between the two leaders were several issues related to the state and the pandemic situation in Uttarakhand. Rawat is believed to have discussed possibilities of resumption of Char Dham Yatra in the state, given the fact that there has been a sharp decline in the number of fresh cases of Corona in Uttarakhand during the past ten days or so. Besides this, the CM also reportedly discussed the issue of rejection of the proposal of the state government by the Centre, for deployment of two air ambulances in the state, one for Garhwal and the other for Kumaon region. Some party and political issues like upcoming assembly elections in Uttarakhand, due in March next, were also discussed between the two leaders, according to the sources. It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Tirath Singh Rawat’s taking over as CM of Uttarakhand in March this year. Sources claimed that the CM reminded the Union Home Minister that due to Corona pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the economy of the state had been badly affected as it mostly depended on tourism and pilgrimage. Shah was told that the revenues of the state government from its own resources had fallen by over a thousand crores rupees and the tax collection had also fallen significantly. He said that now that the second wave of Corona was ebbing, it would be necessary to go in for phased unlocking. The trade and tourism both were badly affected, he said. He also urged the Union Home Minister that the Centre ought to consider granting some compensation and additional relief to Uttarakhand to help it tide over the current financial crisis.
Sources said that Rawat is also scheduled to meet some other Union Ministers to seek help and relief, besides meeting the BJP’s National President JP Nadda. Sources claimed that Rawat had been trying for an appointment with Shah for past several days and it was yesterday evening that the appointment was confirmed by Shah’s office for today afternoon. Therefore at around 11 am, Rawat left for New Delhi in the state chopper. He drove straight from Delhi Airport to Shah’s residence and after the meeting went to Uttarakhand Sadan, where he planted a Rudraksh tree on the occasion of World Environment Day. He was accompanied by Home Secretary Nitesh Jha.