Khanduri in a fix as ties with UKD worsen

Uttarakhand Chief Minister B. C. Khanduri

Uttarakhand Chief Minister B. C. Khanduri  

Staff Correspondent

DEHRA DUN: The ties between the ruling coalition partners in Uttarakhand -- the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal -- are going from bad to worse judging by recent developments here in the State capital.

The latest blow to the alliance was the resignation a couple of days ago by senior UKD leader Kashi Singh Airi from the chairmanship of the State-owned HILTRON. Another senior UKD leader, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Dewakar Bhatt, had resigned from the B. C. Khanduri Cabinet this past weekend accusing the BJP of failure to implement the nine-point charter on which support was lent to the Chief Minister to form the government after the last State Assembly elections. He also accused the Chief Minister of not respecting the “coalition dharma”.

“The UKD will soon decide whether to withdraw support to the BJP Government,” said party president Narain Singh Jantwal.

Wait and watch

Already under pressure after the recent resignation by party MLA Munna Singh Chauhan and withdrawal of support by Independent MLA Yashpal Benam, Mr. Khanduri seems to be gearing up to cross the bridge upon reaching it. “Both the BJP and the UKD are political parties and would like to safeguard their own interests. The UKD has not withdrawn support yet—let’s wait and watch,” said the Chief Minister earlier this week.

BJP’s promise

Indications are that the BJP has promised respectable positions to the two independent MLAs supporting the Government in case the UKD withdraws support. Continued support of these Independents is vital for smooth continuance of the Khanduri Government.

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