Keep off Uttarakhand, State party unit tells Congress top brass

State Cong. tells Rahul to wait for HC verdict on President’s Rule.

April 16, 2016 04:08 am | Updated November 17, 2021 04:49 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Congress in Uttarakhand prefers to keep its campaign against the ongoing political crisis confined to local leadership, keeping the party high command at a distance.

Last week, as its State unit kick-started a two-week programme mobilising party workers to hold public meetings at 200 places, particularly at the birthplace of those activists who were killed when demanding a separate State two decades ago, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had offered his help to former Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

Mr. Rawat is leading a campaign against the BJP government at the Centre for “dislodging” his government and imposing President’s Rule in the State.

According to State Congress president Kishore Upadhyay, Mr. Gandhi was told that it would be too early for him to visit the State, suggesting that he should “wait” until the Uttarakhand High Court at Nainital takes a final call on whether the President’s Rule, as recommended by the BJP government, was needed.

“We told him [Mr. Gandhi] that under the able leadership of Harish Rawatji we have gained immense public sympathy and that if the court calls for a fresh election, we will win,” said Mr. Upadhyay.

So far, the Congress has been accusing the BJP of destabilising the Congress-ruled States by aiding defection. Prior to the Uttarakhand crisis, the Congress lost power in Arunachal Pradesh in January 2016 after a dozen of its legislators turned rebels, challenging the Nabam Tuki-led government with their BJP counterparts.

While defending the Tuki government, the Congress high command created a ruckus in the winter session of Parliament, blocking its proceedings for two days.

‘BJP twisted the issue’ As the Delhi-based leadership put its weight behind Mr. Tuki, a senior Congress leader wishing anonymity said, the BJP won the war of public perception. “They [the BJP] turned the entire debate away from the fact that a democratically-elected government was toppled and twisted it into the Gandhi family versus the BJP debate,” the leader said.

Corrections & Clarifications:

>>The report erroneously described Rahul Gandhi as Congress president . It has now been changed to Congress vice-president .

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