By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 16 Sep: With around five months to go for the Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, the BJP seems intent on leading other parties in its campaign. In this connection, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister and the leader in charge of the BJP’s poll campaign in Uttarakhand, Pralhad Joshi arrived in the state, today, along with his associate leaders, Sardar RP Singh and Locket Chatterjee, on a two day tour.
They were welcomed on arrival at Jolly Grant Airport, here, by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and BJP State President Madan Kaushik amongst others.
It may also be recalled that some weeks ago, BJP President JP Nadda was also in Dehradun and Haridwar for a three day tour to galvanise the party cadre for the polls and to finalise strategy. It may further be recalled that the national leadership of the party considers assembly elections in Uttarakhand as very crucial and in this regard has been keeping a strict eye on the party and the government, here, for several months. It is in this context that it changed the guard in March, replacing the then CM, Trivendra Singh Rawat, with Tirath Singh Rawat. It did not hesitate again to replace even Tirath Singh Rawat within four months in July, with the present CM Pushkar Singh Dhami taking charge as the new and young face of the party.
Sources in the party claim that this present visit of team Pralhad Joshi is to gauge the political mood and make a quick assessment of the political situation in Uttarakhand. Some of the existing MLAs could be dropped by the party in case, in its assessment, they are found to be on a weak wicket. Of course, this is always easier said than done. The party has to weigh such options vis-à-vis possible rebellion and political loss. In the past, too, though the party claimed that many MLAs would be dropped, it was not able to actually do so on a large scale. However, sources claim that, by dropping some of the weaker MLAs on whom feedback may not be good, the party this time seems determined to tide over a possible anti incumbency wave.
On their arrival in Doon, Joshi, Singh and Chatterjee paid tribute to BR Ambedkar and Deen Dayal Upadhyay by garlanding their statues in the city. A large number of party leaders including CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, BJP State President Madan Kaushik, State In charge of the party affairs Dushyant Gautam and several party MLAs were also present.
Later, they also held a meeting at the BJP State Headquarters this afternoon with the Party office bearers, district presidents of the party and those in charge of the party affairs in each district. Joshi called upon the party leaders to work hard to ensure the party wins in Uttarakhand against the trend of government change every five years. He said that based on the work done by the Modi Government at the Centre and the infrastructure work that was being done in Uttarakhand, BJP was in a position to win the polls this time thus beating the trend.