C. K. Chandramohan

Benam is Independent member

He is likely to contest from Pauri Lok Sabha constituency

Urges UKD too to pull out of the Uttarakhand Government

DEHRA DUN: In fast-changing developments, Yashpal Benam, the independent MLA from Pauri, withdrew his support to the B.C. Khanduri Government in Uttarakhand on Tuesday.

“I have handed over my letter of withdrawal of support to the BJP-led Government to the Governor, B.L. Joshi,” Mr. Benam told reporters, adding that he had now asked the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) having three MLAs including a Minister to withdraw support so that he could join the UKD and crusade for realising the dreams of the Uttarakhand protesters.

The Governor has forwarded Mr. Benam’s letter to the Speaker, Harbans Kapoor, for necessary action, a Raj Bhawan spokesman said.

Accusing the Khanduri Government of neglecting his constituency despite his support, Mr. Benam wondered why most divisional offices including that of the Divisional Commissioner continued to operate from Dehra Dun despite repeated assurances to shift all offices to the divisional headquarters at Pauri.

“If this is the state of Pauri which is also the home town of the Chief Minister, one can very well imagine what is happening in other parts of the State,” he said.

Indications are that Mr. Benam will be fielded by the UKD from the Pauri Lok Sabha constituency. Senior UKD leader Kashi Singh Airi said that the party would discuss the issue of withdrawing support to the Khanduri Government in the next few days.

Meanwhile, Munna Singh Chauhan, the rebel BJP MLA from Vikas Nagar, is touring the Tehri region reviving old contacts in an exercise to assess his hold over the region. Mr. Chauhan was known as a firebrand leader during the Uttarakhand agitation days and efforts to win him back to the party fold have yielded no results so far.

Mr. Chauhan has been tipped for a ticket for himself or his wife, Madhu Chauhan, who is the Zila Parishad chairperson of Dehra Dun, by the Bahujan Samaj Party which is making frantic efforts to create a base in the hill regions of the State. The party has eight MLAs, all from the plains, in the Uttarakhand Assembly.

No impact, says BJP

PTI reports:

The Khanduri Government enjoys a majority in the 70-member House with the support of the three-member UKD and two other independent MLAs. The BJP has 35 MLAs.

Reacting to Mr. Benam’s move, BJP leaders said it would not affect the saffron’s party prospects in the coming general elections in the State.