The long drawn political and legal battle in Uttarakhand is over and the Congress and BJP will soon move over to a new battle terrain in the country, but one man who has suffered the biggest loss of his political career is Vijay Bahuguna, former Chief Minister and the architect of the split in the Congress in the hill state. Bahuguna has not only jeopardised his own political career, but has also cast a shadow on his sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s political future in Uttar Pradesh. A former UPCC president, Rita Bahuguna Joshi now faces a new lot of detractors in the UP Congress who spare no opportunity to remind the party leaders of her connection with the rebels in Uttarakhand.
“Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is known to be a good leader, could have been projected as a chief ministerial candidate in UP, but after the Uttarakhand fiasco, it is doubtful whether she will be trusted for the job. It will take a Herculean effort to convince the party high command about her loyalty now. Besides, her detractors are already waiting to pull her down,” said a veteran UPCC leader.
Vijay Bahuguna, according to sources, was promised the Chief Minister’s post if he toppled the Harish Rawat government. Vijay Bahuguna, who had been feeling insulted and angry since January 2014 when he was asked to step down from the Chief Minister’s post and make way for Harish Rawat, finally led the revolt against the Congress.
The veteran politician, who was a former judge in the Allahabad High Court, apparently miscalculated the political situation and, today, he faces an uncertain future in politics after being disqualified from the Congress. His political lineage — he is the son of late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna — may also not help recover from the crisis.
“He has burnt his own bridges with his actions. Had he waited patiently till the Uttarakhand Assembly elections, he could have found a place for himself in national politics. The Congress has always appreciated patience and loyalty, but he got taken in by the dreams that he saw with open eyes. He may get a ticket for the Assembly elections from the BJP, but the party is certainly not going to portray him as a chief ministerial candidate because it already has a surplus of leaders in Uttarakhand,” said a senior Congress leader in New Delhi.
The eight others who were responsible for the split in the Congress, including veterans like Harak Singh Rawat and Amrita Rawat, also face a similar uncertain future, but the crisis for them is not so great since the two Rawats already have their roots in the BJP.