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Is it time to rest? Harish Rawat stirs Cong ahead of U'khand polls

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: December 23, 2021 01:11 IST
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Congress campaign head in poll-bound Uttarakhand Harish Rawat created a flutter in the political circles in Dehradun on Wednesday, alleging non-cooperation from his organisation and noting that he sometimes feels it is time for him to rest.

IMAGE: Congress leader Harish Rawat. Photograph: ANI Photo

He also said the Congress will have to adopt the Bharatiya Janata Party's technique of strengthening its regional leaders if it wants to regain power at the Centre.

In a tweet in Hindi, Rawat said, 'Isn't it strange that the organisational structure at most places, instead of extending a helping hand, is standing with its head turned away or playing a negative role at a time when I have to swim across the ocean of elections.'

'The powers that be have left crocodiles there. People on whose orders I have to swim, their nominees are tying up my hands and feet,' he said.

'I am invaded by thoughts. A voice from within sometimes tells me it is enough Harish Rawat, you have swam long. It is time to rest,' the former Uttarakhand chief minister said.


'I am in a dilemma. The new year may show me the way,' he added.

Asked about the tweet at a conclave organised by Times Now Navbharat, Rawat did not reveal who had turned their faces away from him, but explained what he meant by 'crocodiles'.

"It is clear. When (Union) Home Minister Amit Shah visited Uttarakhand, he reminded me of a sting operation done by someone.

"No one from the journalistic fraternity would like to own up today. It was a veiled threat from the home minister to cause harm to me if I dared speak too much," he said.

"The CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, the Income Tax (department) are the crocodiles unleashed by the Centre for its political opponents," Rawat added.

However, he did not disclose the names of those in his party who are turning their faces away from him.

"There is an appropriate time for everything. When it comes, you will be the first one I will share it with," he said.

Rawat said the Congress needs to follow the BJP's strategy of strengthening its regional leaders.

"The BJP strengthened its local and regional leaders, including (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, to dislodge us from power. We will have to adopt the same technique so that Rahul Gandhi becomes the prime minister in 2024," he said.

The Congress has to defeat the saffron party in the states first to pave the way for its victory at the national level, Rawat added.

He said apart from seeing the ideology of a party, the voters also see the individual who represents them so that they can make him accountable for the promises made to people for five years.

When senior Congress leader and Rawat's media advisor Surendra Kumar was asked by reporters about the former Uttarakhand chief minister's tweet, he said some forces within the party are playing into the hands of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to hurt the poll prospects of the Congress in Uttarakhand.

"There is no alternative to Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand. He is the most popular leader in the state who has kept the party flag flying. But there are some forces playing into the BJP's hands to mar the possibility of the Congress making a comeback in the state," Kumar said.

Asked whether Rawat's hurt had anything to do with All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Uttarakhand Devendra Yadav, he said, "Devendra Yadav is our in-charge. His role is that of a panchayati pramukh. But if the panchayati pramukh begins tying the hands of the party workers and hurts the party's poll prospects, the high-command should take notice of it."

Yadav and Rawat do not share the best of relationship with each other.

While the Rawat loyalists have been saying that the 2022 Uttarakhand Assembly polls will be fought under his leadership, Yadav has been maintaining that the election will be contested under a collective leadership.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.