Brother of India’s late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, Col (retd) Vijay Rawat, met Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today, leading to speculation that he might join the ruling the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the forthcoming assembly polls in the hill state, a rumour he did not deny. The retired colonel said, “I like his (Dhami’s) vision for the state. It matches with what my brother (the late CDS) had in his mind.”
When asked about his joining the saffron camp, Col Rawat said, “In case they ask me, I will serve the people of Uttarakhand.”
The Uttarakhand chief minister posted a photograph on Twitter, showing him with Col Rawat, to salute the service to the nation by the Rawat family. “Today in Delhi, met Col. Vijay Rawat ji, brother of the first CDS of the country and the pride of Uttarakhand Late Bipin Rawat ji,” wrote Dhami on Twitter. “We salute the service to the nation done by Bipin Rawat ji and his family. I will always work to transform Uttarakhand according to their dreams.”
In the days following his death, it was revealed that the four-star general of the Indian Army had a bunch of unfulfilled plans in service to the nation, including the setting up of more than a few ‘sainik schools’ across India to help underprivileged students prepare themselves for the armed forces.
Remembering the late CDS, Dhami said, “On the strength of his (General Rawat’s) extraordinary talent, hard work, and indomitable courage and bravery, he rose to the highest post of the army and gave a new direction to the security systems of the country and the Indian Army. Uttarakhand has also suffered a great loss due to his sudden demise. We all will always be proud of this great son of ours.”
Now, the potential inclusion of the late CDS’ brother into the BJP fold ahead of the forthcoming assembly elections is likely to provide the party with an additional electoral edge.
Polls to elect the 70-member Uttarakhand assembly are scheduled to be held on 14 February. The counting of votes will be done on 10 March.