In a significant decision, a ‘worried’ party leadership sends observers to Dehradun to seek leaders’ views on Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.

 

New Delhi: The BJP high command is said to be worried over the controversy resulting from certain “ill-advised” decisions taken by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. His decisions are being seen as something that might damage the prospects of the party in the hill state.

So, with the anger against Rawat growing, the BJP high command has sent former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and BJP national general secretary Dushyant Gautam as observers to Dehradun. The observers in a core group meeting sought views of senior leaders, who are members of the top group, on Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Rawat also attended the meeting. After ascertaining the views of the party leaders, the observers will submit their report to the high command. There are indications that the party may take a significant decision regarding Uttarakhand.

CM Rawat is said to have been isolated in the state, as he continues to follow the policy of “Ekla Chalo”, much to the chagrin of state BJP leaders and workers. He is said to be taking “wrong decisions”, due to which the party may be in trouble in days to come.

Uttarakhand will be going to polls after 10 months along with Uttar Pradesh. The BJP is considering Uttarakhand to be quite a crucial state as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream projects such as all-weather road, and Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail link for which an outlay of Rs 4,200 crore was sanctioned in the budget, are underway in the state.

PM Modi has asked the officials to give fillip to the projects. One can recall how PM Modi had done a session of meditation in a cave of Kedarnath valley of Uttarakhand before the 2019 Lok Sabha election results. This goes on to suggest how much PM Modi gives importance to the state.

So, the high command’s concern about the declining graph of Trivendra Singh Rawat is quite natural and understandable. CM Rawat’s recent decision to announce a new commissionerate (third administrative division) in the Himalayan state led to a row. Similarly, his decision to rename Kotdwar as Kanva Nagri was not also a welcome step in the state. In addition to this, “deteriorating” law and order situation continues to show Rawat’s governance in a poor light. The incident of lathicharge on the hill residents who were protesting peacefully was another development that went against Trivendra. “Growing unemployment and poor health services” in the state also highlight “inefficiency” of the Chief Minister Rawat, who is being described as the BJP’s weakest chief minister ever.

What has raised the leaders’ hackles is that the CM is in the grip of just a handful of non-pahari officers, who take all the decisions consulting some Delhi leaders only. Some say that CM accepts the decisions of these officers as he knows that he is not going to be repeated.  But this has created a negative impact on the government.

Political observers say that situation has worsened because CM Trivendra Singh Rawat does not have any administrative experience. What is also being said is that Yogi Adityanath, who happens to be from Rawat’s Pauri Garhwal district itself, is leading the neighbouring big state UP quite efficiently. It is said that CM Adityanath has established his different and positive identity. It was due to his strong and positive image that the BJP continues to be on top in Uttar Pradesh.

What is another issue with Rawat is that he could not get along well with his own people, due to which more than half of the ministers are said to be upset with him. Ministers like Satpal Maharaj do not even attend Rawat’s functions.

AAP has made a space for itself in Uttarakhand because of the “weak” government in the state and groupism in the Congress. Rawat’s decision made the matter much worse. He declared Gairsain as the third new administrative division (commissionerate) including the adjoining areas. This was done despite the fact that Rawat himself has accepted that this move will not result in development of the hills. His own district Pauri Garhwal is the glaring example of this. Pauri is the head office of Garhwal commissionary. Officers do not want to go to the hills, rather they remain stationed in Dehradun. Moreover, Pauri continues to be backward despite being commissionrary’s headquarters. Apart from Rawat, several other big personalities like Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, NSA Ajit Doval, and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat also come from this area. People of Kumaon and Garhwal are unhappy with the new commissionerate.

Similarly, renaming Kotdwar as Kanva Nagri does not cut any ice with the people. Kotdwar had been named after Khoh river, changing this old name is not acceptable to the people there. This name was not given by any ruler, and the name of only those places are being changed which were deliberately renamed by some rulers in the past. Some say that the Chief Minister did it to divert attention from his inability to declare Kotdwar a new district. Kotwar is waiting to be declared a district for over a decade now.

The death of a pregnant woman in Uttarkashi due, allegedly, to medical negligence has also created a controversy. With all this in view, Uttarakhand has given the BJP high command anxious moments. If a timely action is not taken by the leadership, then the saffron party might lose the state.