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Uttarakhand Congress seems divided over Harak Singh Rawat re-entry

Harak Singh Rawat. File

Harak Singh Rawat. File

The leadership of the Uttarakhand Congress on Monday seemed divided over induction of former BJP Minister Harak Singh Rawat back into the party.

On a day when the Congress screening committee to shortlist the list of candidates met, there was intense speculation that the former Minister, who was expelled by the BJP late on Sunday night, would rejoin the Congress.

However, head of the Congress campaign committee and former Chief Minister Harish Rawat said “anyone who wants to return to the Congress must first apologise” for leaving the party.

In March 2016, the now expelled BJP leader along with nine Congress MLAs had switched sides and joined the BJP.

“The party has to make a decision but I am sure it will decide after factoring in the sentiments of the people,” the former Chief Minister said. “All those who were involved in the March 18 [2016] incident should apologise to the party and the country as a whole.”

Uttarakhand PCC chief Ganesh Godiyal however took a more nuanced view.

He said the decision on the expelled BJP leader would be taken jointly by the senior leadership but his [Mr. Harak Singh] statement of “selflessly” serving the Congress should be appreciated.

“I respect his sentiments to serve the Congress party,” Mr. Godiyal told reporters.

After being expelled by the BJP, the former Uttarakhand Minister not only expressed his willingness to return to his old party but claimed that the Congress will win an absolute majority in the hill State.

Though a final decision is yet to be taken, a section of the party is keen on taking him back and pitching him against former BJP Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat from the Doiwala constituency.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 6:43:17 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/uttarakhand-congress-seems-divided-over-harak-singh-rawat-re-entry/article38283609.ece