By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 29 Oct: Soon after, Speaker of Uttarakhand Assembly, Ritu Khanduri Bhushan announced her decision to call an all party meeting on Monday to decide whether the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha will be held in Dehradun or in Gairsain, the issue was picked up by the Opposition Congress and turned into a major issue. Senior Congress leaders have criticised the government and accused the government as well as the speaker of ignoring Gairsain.
Politics has intensified over the issue and Congress on one hand has accused the government of ignoring Gairsain which had been declared as the summer capital of Uttarakhand by the previous BJP Government, and on the other hand have also opposed the proposal to hold the winter session of the assembly in Gairsain. The ground taken by the Congress leaders in opposing the proposal to hold winter session in Gairsain is that winter is harsh in Gairsain, and it does not have enough accommodation available to host the security forces in extremely cold and snowy conditions.
Party’s state president Karan Mahra reminds that when the summer session could have been organised in Gairsain easily, then the government made an excuse that ongoing Chardham Yatra would get affected had the session been held there in the summer. As a result, the summer session of the assembly was held in Dehradun. Mahra claimed that by proposing to hold the winter session in Gairsain, the BJP government was merely trying to earn some brownie points.
He said that there was no place in Gairsain to accommodate class four employees during the winter. In case the government was really serious towards holding the winter session in Gairsain, then, it needed to make adequate arrangements for the same. He said that it would not be proper to make the class four employees and the police officials deputed for session duty to suffer physically by making them stay outdoors. Mahara said that instead of making a mockery in the name of session in Gairsain, the government ought to call the next session in Dehradun itself.
He also challenged the BJP Government to declare Gairsain as the permanent capital if it had really the will to promote Gairsain. The statehood agitation was fought keeping Gairsain at the centre. With Dehradun being the capital, the hills were not getting any benefit. Of course, Mahra shied away from claiming that Congress would make Gairsain as the permanent capital if it came to power. Similarly, former Chief Minister Harish Rawat also raised the same issue and claimed that the BJP was being diplomatic in respect of the issue of Gairsain. He challenged CM Pushkar Singh Dhami to inform the state when would he be calling an all party meeting to declare Gairsain as the capital of the state and when would the capital be actually shifted out of Dehradun. Rawat claimed that the entire state was curious about it.