DEHRADUN: A day after he was lambasted by Amit Shah for his ‘appeasement’ policy during his stint as Uttarakhand chief minister, senior Congress leader Harish Rawat accepted the ‘debate challenge’ of the Union home minister.
“I am ready for any kind of debate on any issue pertaining to Uttarakhand. I also got to know that the home minister targeted only me in his address. I want to say this to him for targeting me so passionately — ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’,” said Rawat, taking a jibe at the home minister.
While on a visit to Dehradun on Saturday, Shah had challenged the former CM to bring up his manifesto and that of the BJP to compare which government had fulfilled more promises made to the people of Uttarakhand.
Rawat also challenged Shah to produce the government order of Friday leave for ‘namaz’. “The Union home minister must show the government order about leave on Fridays for namaz during my tenure. He should produce the proof of his allegations,” he asserted.
Shah had claimed that when Rawat was CM, his cavalcade was stopped and he was told that a national highway has been closed for ‘namaz’.
“He (Shah) attacked me with all those allegations and jibes. He can do that as his stature is bigger while I still remain an ordinary Uttarakhandi who wants his people to do well. All I want is development and prosperity for my state and the people,” Rawat, who recently quit as Punjab in-charge of the Congress to focus on his home state, said.
Likening himself to ancient sages, Rawat said, “I am into my tapasya like Bhrigu Rishi and no one can break my tapasya like Vishvamitra. ‘Garajna and barasna’ (Verbal attacks) of the BJP leaders cannot break my resolve to keep working for Uttarakhand. I understand their motive behind such behaviour but all I want is to see Uttarakhand rising higher than ever.”
Jay Singh Rawat, a Dehradun- based political commentator, said said Shah’s targeted attack on rawat showed the BJP’s unease over the veteran’s campiagn.
“The home minister attacked only Harish Rawat and did not utter the name of any other Congress leader. They know who is important in Uttarakhand and their key opponent.”