The ostensible truce effected by Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari this week between the warring Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and his detractors -- former Chief Ministers Bhagat Singh Koshiary and B. C. Khanduri -- may not be long lasting going by the indications from different camps.
“A good section of the BJP and the public at large are sick of the publicity blitz undertaken by Mr. Nishank through his expensive helicopter Antyodaya Yatra. Development continues to move at a snail's pace on the ground and that is what is going to affect the party's prospects in next year's State Assembly elections,” say several veteran local BJP leaders including a couple of ministers.What is required is a government machinery that delivers results. Merely suspending or warning a handful of petty officials could be replaced with efforts to make the bureaucracy accountable, said one leader over the weekend.
Insiders feel Mr. Khanduri and Mr. Koshiary who had been seeking removal of Mr. Nishank were more than peeved when Mr. Gadkari announced that Mr. Nishank would continue to head the government till the next elections which will be fought under their joint leadership. The detractors having considerable clout in their region could adversely impact the poll prospects of the BJP which will also be facing the anti-incumbency factor, they said.The opposition Congress has countered Mr. Nishank's yatras with a Satyagraha Padyatra that began from Almora in April and has covered all blocks of Kumaon division. It is expected to enter Garhwal division from Gairsen this coming week. The yatra led by PCC president Yashpal Arya and other leaders is going apace telling people about huge Central funds the BJP Government did not utilise for development during the past four years, demanding a CBI probe into “major scandals” including the Sturdia land scam of Rishikesh and the power projects scandal.