We do not have the political material fit to Govern or work as a team to usher in development, say people
With every factional leader in the Congress in Uttarakhand seeking to be the next Chief MinisterCongress high command has been put into disarray and sparked off a debate between party cadres and the general masses here about whether or not the State was fit to be declared a Union Territory till a sound leadership evolved.
“We do not have the political material fit to Govern or work as a team to usher in real time development,” people like Sarita Chauhan, Vinod Rauthan and Sunita Dangwal, who pointed out how the Bharatiya Janata Party government had five Chief Ministers —Nityanand Swami and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari in the interim government, then B.C. Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Mr. Khanduri again took over in the second Vidhan Sabha.
The changes had to be affected in the short period due to machinations from within the Sangh Parivar. Charges of incompetence, high-level corruption, and near zero development were levelled against top men from within the party lobbies. These leaders were drawing power from sections of the central leaderships.
The Congress did rule with one Chief Minister, N.D. Tiwari, in the first Vidhan Sabha. It was an era which saw real time development, but was mired by his detractors reaching Delhi seeking his removal every third month. The seeds of factionalism were sown during this period. With Mr. Tiwari out of the picture this time and the Congress suffering reverses in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the local chieftains seem to be trying to cash in on the opportunity.
“Going by the behaviour of the chieftains, we doubt the smooth functioning of the next Government — unless someone with a magic wand takes over and leads the State from deprivation to sustained development,” observed several senior party leaders here on Sunday.
The Congress is also riddled with a MPs-MLAs divide. That none of the MLAs or MPs has emerged tall enough to enjoy unanimous support has been portrayed by the number of parleys to elect the Congress Legislature Party leader, first by party in-charge Choudhary Birender Singh, then by Central observer Ghulam Nabi Azad and then on Sunday a meeting with Sonia Gandhi herself.
According to reports, several MLAs including, State Congress president Yashpal Arya, former Ministers Pritam Singh and Indira Hirdeyesh and Leader of the Opposition Harak Singh Rawat had separate meetings with Ms. Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel.
“Almost all top job claimants along with their supporters are here and lobbying. Let's hope for the best,” a senior leader told The Hindu over phone.
Meanwhile, the Bahujan Samaj Party, having three MLAs, announced that party supremo Mayawati would decide on supporting the government after the name of the Chief Minister was announced — this amidst reports that two MLAs were ready to defect by forming a new group and support the Congress government.