Veteran INC leader Harish Rawat trained guns at his party’s high command today ahead of the Uttarakhand assembly election early next year. Rawat, who is the head of the Uttarakhand Congress campaign committee, took the party by surprise when he accused it of not supporting him and cooperating with him for the state election campaign.
In a detailed thread in Hindi on Twitter, Rawat said, “It is evidently clear that we have to swim political seas and strangely in spite of cooperating, the organisation in most of the places is either not supporting (me) or is playing a negative role.”
In another tweet, Rawat said, “The powers that be have left many crocodiles in the political sea and they are tying my hands. My heart says, ‘Enough!’ I need some rest. Hope the New Year shows some light.”
Rawat, however, chose to give a cryptic reply when asked to comment on his Twitter thread. He told reporters, “When the time comes, I will let you know…”
What makes Rawat angry
Uttarakhand will vote early in 2022. In this crucial election, the INC reorganised its house a few months ago by appointing Rawat the head of the election campaign committee and his right-hand man Ganesh Godiyal as the chief of Uttarakhand Congress. Godiyal replaced Rawat’s once-trusted lieutenant and now bugbear Pritam Singh who, in turn, was made leader of the opposition in the state assembly. The party appointed four working presidents in an attempt to appease lobbies, but that did not help in the “clash of the titans”.
The rift widened further. This is not the first time that Rawat has complained about the state of affairs in Uttarakhand Congress but the language he used was mild as compared to his latest tweets. There are two camps in the state unit of the INC — one headed by Rawat and the other by Pritam Singh and Devendra Yadav, the secretary who is in charge of party affairs in Uttarakhand.
Rawat’s associate and party Vice-President Surendra Kumar alleged that Yadav was hurting the party’s interests. He said ahead of the recent Rahul Gandhi rally that he had been silent when posters of Rawat were removed. “Such acts are only helping the BJP,” he said.
Sources said Rawat was making an attempt to exert pressure on the party high command to replace Yadav with some veteran leader as in-charge of the party affairs.
Rawat’s outburst coincided with Pritam Singh’s meeting with Yadav in New Delhi today. “Harish Rawat is a tall leader. I don’t know why he made the comments and what the context was. Only he (Rawat) can throw light on this,” Singh said.
While workers of the party expect positive results from the upcoming elections, the rift in the ranks of the INC suggests otherwise.
“Harish Rawat seemed upset to see the end of his political innings. He will become another Amarinder Singh for the Congress,” said BJP spokesperson Suresh Joshi.
Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister Harak Singh said, “Harish Rawat is in deep trouble. His own men are standing against him. Why? He should ask himself.” Harak had rebelled against the Harish Rawat-led government in 2016.