DEHRADUN: Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat on Wednesday said 'Uttarakhandiyat' will be at the centre of the party's campaign strategy in the poll-bound state.
The Congress has embarked on a month-long campaign aimed at identifying the forces for and against 'Uttarakhandiyat', the former chief minister who heads the party's poll campaign committee in Uttarakhand said at a press conference here.
"Uttarakhandityat and its protection will be the core plank of our poll strategy in the state. It will be built around the three symbols of Uttarakhandiyat - mandua, ganna and shilp (millet, sugarcane and crafts)," he said.
Mandua symbolises hill crops, sugarcane is a major crop that grows in the state's plain areas, while crafts are part of our cultural identity, Rawat said.
He said these three symbols were chosen as the party felt that the solution to the state's economic problems lies in their promotion.
Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will also visit the state soon to address poll rallies, and the party will convene a meeting of its core committee to finalise their programmes, Rawat added.
Rawat and Pradesh Congress president Ganesh Godiyal presented a trident to Kedarnath MLA Manoj Rawat in recognition of his role in the party's fight against the Devasthanam Board which was scrapped by the state government.
He claimed that the BJP government had decided to repeal the Devasthanam Board Act as it was afraid of its imminent defeat.
"When the Congress began talking unequivocally about scrapping the board if elected to power and the BJP realised that we had taken up the issue in right earnest, it was left with no choice but to scrap the board," Rawat said.
He also accused the state government of shifting the proposed venue of the forthcoming winter session of the state assembly from Gairsain to Dehradun because of severe cold there.
"Most of the people of the state live in severely cold places.
Shifting the venue of the assembly session from Gairsain to Dehradun is an insult of Uttarakhandis and Uttarakhandiyat," he said.
Harish Rawat, who was wearing Uttarakhand's typical Kandalighat cap, offered a similar cap to Godiyal, and said everyone taking part in the party's poll campaign will wear it.
Assembly elections in Uttarakhand will be held early next year.