Veteran Congress leader Harish Rawat trained guns at his organisation, dropping a political bomb aimed at a section of party leaders ahead of the Uttarakhand assembly election early next year. Rawat, who is the head of the Congress campaign committee in the state, took the Congress by surprise when he accused the organisation of not supporting him and cooperating with him for the election campaign.
In a detailed thread in Hindi on Twitter, Rawat said, “It is evidently clear that we have to swim political seas and strangely in spite of cooperating, the organization in most of places is either not supporting (me) or is playing a negative role.”
#चुनाव_रूपी_समुद्रहै न अजीब सी बात, चुनाव रूपी समुद्र को तैरना है, सहयोग के लिए संगठन का ढांचा अधिकांश स्थानों पर सहयोग का हाथ आगे बढ़ाने के बजाय या तो मुंह फेर करके खड़ा हो जा रहा है या नकारात्मक भूमिका निभा रहा है। जिस समुद्र में तैरना है, 1/2 pic.twitter.com/wc4LKVi1oc— Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk) December 22, 2021
In another tweet, Rawat said, “The ruling party has left many magarmach (crocodiles) in the political sea and they are tying my hands. My heart says enough of this, let’s take some rest. Hope the New Year will show some light.”
सत्ता ने वहां कई मगरमच्छ छोड़ रखे हैं। जिनके आदेश पर तैरना है, उनके नुमाइंदे मेरे हाथ-पांव बांध रहे हैं। मन में बहुत बार विचार आ रहा है कि #हरीश_रावत अब बहुत हो गया, बहुत तैर लिये, अब विश्राम का समय है! 2/3— Harish Rawat (@harishrawatcmuk) December 22, 2021
Rawat, however, chose to give a cryptic reply when asked to comment on his Twitter thread. He said, “When the time will come, I will let you know…”
Why the hullabaloo
Uttarakhand will go to polls early next year. In this crucial election, the Congress reorganised a few months ago by appointing Rawat as the head of the election campaign committee and his right-hand man Ganesh Godiyal as the chief of Uttarakhand Congress. Godiyal replaced Rawat’s once-trusted lieutenant and now bête noire Pritam Singh, who in turn was made leader of the opposition in the state assembly. The party also appointed four working presidents in a bid to appease lobbies, but that did not help in the “clash of the titans”.
In fact, the rift widened further. This is not the first time that Rawat has griped about the state of affairs in the state Congress unit but the language he used was mild as compared to his latest tweets. There are two camps in the state Congress — one headed by Rawat and the other by Pritam Singh and Devendra Yadav, secretary in-charge of party affairs.
Rawat’s associate and party vice-president Surendra Kumar alleged that Yadav was causing damage to the party. He said ahead of the recent Rahul Gandhi rally, he was silent when the Rawat posters were removed. “Such acts are only helping the BJP,” he alleged.
Sources said Rawat was making an attempt to put pressure on the party high command to replace Yadav with some veteran leader as in-charge of the party affairs.
Rawat’s sudden outburst coincided with Pritam Singh’s meeting with Yadav in New Delhi on Wednesday. “Harish Rawat is a tall leader. I don’t know why he made the comments and what the context was. Only he (Rawat) can throw light on this,” Singh said.
‘Rawat another Amarinder Singh’
While party cadres are expecting positive results in the upcoming elections, the rip in the party fabric suggests otherwise.
“Harish Rawat seemed upset to see the end of his political innings. He will become another Amarinder Singh for Congress,” said BJP spokesperson Suresh Joshi.
State cabinet minister Harak Singh said, “Harish Rawat is in deep trouble. His own men are standing against him. Why? He should ask himself.” Harak had rebelled against the Harish Rawat-led government in 2016.
Sources said Rawat was making an attempt to put pressure on the party high command and replace Yadav with another veteran leader in-charge of the party affairs.