DEHRADUN: As the Congress gears up to take on the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand civic body polls, internal tussle among party satraps has come to the fore with former chief minister Harish Rawat expressing unhappiness over being allegedly kept out of a motorcycle rally organised by the state unit.
The rally was organised to generate public opinion over the issue of "growing unemployment", demonetisation and GST. "I would have loved to join the rally if assigned a role," the former chief minister said in his post on Facebook on Tuesday. However, congratulating the Uttarakhand Congress for organising such a "large" and "impressive" rally, Rawat said he would request the PCC president to inform him in advance about such programmes in future. He said he could not have a word with either Singh about the motorcycle rally in Dehradun or with Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Assembly Indira Hridayesh about her dharna staged in Haldwani.
"Having said that I must concede that it is not necessary to call everyone to every programme," the former CM said. Uttarakhand Congress held a Jan Chetna rally here on Monday with slogan shouting party workers led by PCC president Pritam Singh taking to the streets on motorcycles in protest against growing unemployment, price rise, GST, demonetisation and non-waiver of farm loans.
However, PCC president Pritam Singh said there was no question of Rawat not being informed about the rally as he was a senior leader besides being a former chief minister. Pradesh Congress always informs its senior leaders as well as heads of its frontal wings in case of all party programmes.
"How can he (Rawat) be left out?" Singh said. PCC's Chief Programme Coordinator Rajendra Shah said the former chief minister's office had been informed of the rally on January 28 on Whatsapp. However, the episode does bring to the fore a communication gap between senior party leaders in the state ahead of the municipal elections due in March-April this year.
Ever since being thrown out of power in Uttarakhand in March last year, senior Congress leaders in the state are seldom seen sharing a common platform. A former minister and Chakrata MLA, Singh was made the PCC president after the party's rout in the assembly elections.