DEHRADUN: ON a day the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) named former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari as the new governor of Maharashtra, political experts saw in it a ploy by virtue of which the saffron camp hopes to mine two-pronged benefits.
A Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) veteran, who is considered an astute politician with vast experience, Koshiyari’s elevation to the top post couldn’t come at a better time for the BJP, as the state is due to go to polls in October.
Quizzed on the move, Jay Singh Rawat, an independent political commentator from Dehradun, said, “Koshiyari was sidelined from mainstream politics in Uttarakhand as well as the Centre. He wasn’t considered for the chief minister’s post after the BJP won the Uttarakhand state polls in 2017 and neither was he given a fresh ticket to contest the prestigious Lok Sabha seat in the last general elections.
“However, by putting him in a key post just when polls are round the corner in an electorally-important state, the BJP has sent out a clear message that he is very much in its scheme of things. Also, the party has spiked any possibility of a rebellion against Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.”
However, the benefits aside, both the BJP and opposition Congress termed Koshiyari’s elevation as a move to honour the former CM.
“We are all happy that he has been made ‘Mahamahim’ (governor). I congratulate him on his elevation,” Harish Rawat, senior Congress leader and former Uttarakhand CM, said.
Ajay Bhatt, the state BJP president for whom he had to give up the Nainital Lok Sabha seat, said, “Koshiyariji is our political guru and the seniormost leader from Uttarakhand. We’re very happy that he’s been named the governor of an important state. His contribution to the state’s politics is immeasurable. I wish him good health.”
Sumit Hridayesh, a member of All India Congress Committee and a resident of Haldwani, said, “Koshyariji is a respected politician. It’s a post befitting his stature as a leader. We wish him a fruitful term.”
Now 77, Koshiyari was the CM of the hill state from October 2001 to March 2002 and also held the post of leader of opposition of the Assembly from 2002 to 2007. He served as a member of the Upper House before being elected to the Lok Sabha from Nainirtal in 2014.