Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri has said the newly-formed Congress government in the State would not survive its entire term due to the ongoing power tussle within the party. The retired Army General also said he was ready to take any political challenge in the hill State, including a contest against Chief Minister and his cousin Vijay Bahuguna, if his party – the BJP – gives that responsibility.
“The Congress government has proven to be a non-starter. Instead of taking up development programmes, the new Chief Minister is busy pacifying various sections within his party. It has been over two months and Mr. Bahuguna is still struggling to keep the Congress flock together…this growing dissidence will ultimately lead to premature end to the Congress rule in Uttarakhand,” Mr. Khanduri told The Hindu .
Accusing the Congress of vitiating political atmosphere in the State by poaching on its MLAs, Mr. Khanduri alleged that the resignation of a BJP MLA was totally orchestrated by the Congress and this would only destabilise the State and hurt its growth. Notably, in the 70 member State Assembly, the Congress had won 32 seats, while the BJP 31. With one BJP MLA resigning, its strength has now gone down to 30.
“Everyone knows the Congress is running a government that has wafer-thin majority. Under such circumstances no industrialist would risk his investments…there will be no development work as the only focus of the government would be carry out its appeasement policy trying to retain support of disgruntled elements. And if the Congress continues with its dirty politics, the State and its people will suffer,” he pointed out.
Mr. Khanduri lambasted the Congress government for not carrying forward fight against corruption that was started under his regime. “The Congress has done away with the transparent transfer policy adopted by us, thus again promoting corruption. Similarly, there is no push to other anti-corruption measures initiated by me…Lokayukta Bill passed by the Assembly is still with the Centre and this government is not asking the Congress-led UPA government to clear it at the earliest. This shows the Congress is not interested in fighting corruption,” he charged.
The former Chief Minister also said he was ready to take up any political challenge in the State as decided by his party. “I am a committed soldier of the BJP…whatever the party decides I will follow it,” he said. Asked if he will contest against his cousin, Mr. Bahuguna, in Assembly by-poll, as being widely talked in the BJP, Mr. Khanduri said: “Family relations does not matter in politics…earlier also I have successfully contested against Mr. Bahuguna. I am not averse to taking any challenge…whatever my party decides I will follow. People of Uttarakhand are with me and their support led to the BJP's strong performance in the Assembly elections. We will again come to power soon.”