DEHRADUN: Senior Congress leader Dhirendra Pratap has kicked up a controversy in Uttarakhand by suggesting elevation of Cabinet Minister Indira Hridayesh as the Deputy Chief Minister prompting the state party leadership to contemplate disciplinary action against him.
Pratap was issued a show cause notice by the party leadership on December 1 asking him to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for making a statement which went against party line, a PCC office bearer said on the condition of anonymity.
"The party has taken serious note of Pratap's statement. He has been issued a show cause notice and asked to respond to it by December 8," he said.
When asked what the PCC finds wrong about Pratap's statement, he said it goes against party line.
"If he had a certain view regarding something he could have raised it on party forum instead of issuing a public statement and creating an unnecessary controversy," he said.
Pratap recently stirred the hornet's nest by suggesting in a statement here that the seniormost member of Rawat's Cabinet Indira Hridayesh should be made Deputy Chief to facilitate timely implementation of development projects announced by the Chief Minister.
Noting that implementation of the assurances would be a big challenge and a major issue in 2017 Assembly elections, Pratap had said in his statement that the time has come now when an experienced administrator with respect among the bureaucracy could be assigned the job for fruitful results.
Pratap had demanded that Hridayesh who holds several portfolios in Harish Rawat's Cabinet including Finance and Parliamentary Affairs should be immediately promoted "as Deputy Chief Minister of the state and given the important task of "Programme Implementation" so that she can monitor and fulfill thousands of promises and declarations made by the Chief Minister after assuming charge as CM.
Party sources said the statement by Dhirendra Pratap hurt Chief Minister Harish Rawat who felt that it will strengthen the opposition BJP's charge that announcements by CM were not seeing light of day.
When contacted, Pratap said he had not yet received the show cause notice from the party but had met the Chief Minister and explained to him his point of view on the matter.
Pratap said he had made the suggestion as Hridayesh is a seasoned leader who could lend a helping hand in timebound implementation of the development projects announced by the CM and had no intention to hurt anyone.