A day after Congress veteran N D Tiwari jumped into the race of chief ministerial post, the party’s Uttarakhand unit sought to downplay the issue saying any decision in this regard would be taken by the high command.
“In Congress, the decision regarding who should be the new chief minister has to be taken by the party high command,” said Surendra Kumar, a state Congress spokesman.
Sensing Congress’ victory at the hustings, Mr. Tiwari has tried to take a lead by throwing his hat into the ring yesterday during the election campaign for Congress in Kumaon region.
“For nearly one-two years, I can hold the post (of chief minister),” Mr. Tiwari told reporters at Ramnagar assembly constituency yesterday, while replying to questions whether he would like to become the chief minister in case Congress comes to power in the state.
When repeatedly asked whether he would like to complete even five year tenure of the CM, Mr. Tiwari replied, “With your blessings, if I remain alive, I can even complete five years.”
Mr. Tiwari’s comments assume significance as Congress is facing flak from the ruling BJP for not projecting its chief ministerial candidate.
BJP has already projected B C Khanduri as the Chief Ministerial candidate and is harping on “Khanduri hain Zaruri” campaign.
After remaining in hibernation for a couple of years in the wake of the Andhra Pradesh Raj Bhavan sex scandal, Mr. Tiwari recently came out openly in support of a couple of Congress candidates in the state.
Mr. Tiwari is actively campaigning for his nephew Manish Tiwari from Gadarpur, his close associate Indira Hridayesh from Haldwani and others.
Mr. Tiwari was instrumental in getting ticket for Mr. Manish along with his OSD Aryendra Sharam despite opposition by a section of Congress leaders.
Soon after the Raj Bhavan sex scandal following which he was forced to quit the gubernatorial post, Mr. Tiwari had kept a distance from politics as well as Congress party.
He had occasionally appeared in some public functions of ruling BJP.