Uttarakhand Chief Minister looks to be influenced by his Tripura counterpart Biplab Dev.


New Delhi: In less than a month of his tenure as Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Tirath Singh Rawat has been in news for all the “controversial’ statements he made. Opposition may have targeted him over these comments, but there seems to be a well-conceived strategy behind Rawat’s remarks.

It is said that Rawat’s statements were aimed at influencing the people of Uttarakhand.

In fact, Tirath Singh Rawat has taken over as CM at a time when he does not have much time to showcase his achievements as it is already election year. He has a task of winning the byelection as well. Coronavirus coupled with other natural disasters has affected the state economy badly.  Tourism, which is the mainstay of Uttarakhand’s economy, has been hit terribly by the pandemic. Even the Haridwar Mahakumbh could not come to the rescue of the state’s economy as it was also hit by coronavirus. Successful management of the Kumbh would have given Tirath a much-needed opportunity to build up his image. But it turned out to be a damp squib due to corona-induced pandemic.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s successful management of “Ardh Kumbh” in Prayagraj (Allahabad) had been appreciated internationally. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had also appreciably organized the Kumbh during his tenure as Uttarakhand CM. Similarly, the Uttarakhand government could have won the laurels. Decisions were not taken timely, and when some decisions were reached, the corona played the spoilsport. Efforts are on to get Kumbh curtailed with the help of different “akharas” given the event being associated with the sentiments of Hindus. Similarly, the tourism season is also being affected adversely due to corona.

Hence, the challenges are galore for Tirath Singh Rawat. He is faced with the similar challenges that the then CM Trivendra Singh Rawat was having. He will have to manage his own leaders. Tirath Singh Rawat is said to have tried to manage and mollify the disgruntled leaders.

Meanwhile, Tirath Singh Rawat has caught the attention of the media by making certain statements that did not go down well with the Opposition and others. Rawat’s real test lies in Salt bypoll. His real problem may begin after the Salt byelection result. He will have to win from an Assembly seat within six months. It is said that Rawat’s political mentor B.C. Khanduri may get the Yamkeshwar seat of his daughter Ritu Khanduri vacated.

But the problem is that Rawat does not have anything to show as achievement of his government as of now. With this being the case, Rawat will have the only option to bank on PM Narendra Modi’s popularity and play the Hindutva card. Observers believe that Rawat is making “controversial” statements as part of his political strategy that “might suit him”.

To begin with, Rawat had said that people would compare PM Modi to God in days to come. He said so in order to be in the good books of the high command and woo the people of Uttarakhand. His “ripped jeans” statement did not cut any ice with people living in metros, but it was understandably well taken by the residents of small towns and villages of Uttarakhand. His comments on the Ganga and Kumbh were also aimed at pleasing Hindu community. Keeping Hindu sentiments in mind, he said that corona does not spread on the banks of Ganga river. His terse attack on a particular community for population increase also might have gone down well with Hindu community. Rawat seems to be following the strategy of Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Dev who also hits the headlines for his “controversial” statements from time to time. Rawat is going by the impression that one of the reasons why Trivendra lost his post was his being a reticent leader.