Ut­tarak­hand Pres­tige Bat­tle for BJP

Rawat show­ers sops on ‘re­turn’ as CM, adds to BJP de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep him away at all costs Ambed­kar termed Ar­ti­cle 356 a ‘dead let­ter’ of the Con­sti­tu­tion

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Rakesh Mo­han Chaturvedi & San­jay Singh

New Delhi/Dehradun: Fol­low­ing his restora­tion as the chief min­is­ter of Ut­tarak­hand, which was short-lived, Har­ish Rawat spend ev­ery mo­ment to score po­lit­i­cal points against the BJP in the state.

In his stint that lasted less than 24 hours, Rawat held two Cabi­net meet­ings and re­mained per­son­ally in touch with all MLAs who sup­port him. Be­sides, he en­sured easy ac­cess to all party work­ers who reached his tem­po­rary res­i­dence, the Bi­japur Guest House, since Thurs­day evening. All de­ci­sions he took seemed to be with early elec­tions in mind.

Rawat’s com­bat­ive re­tur n has made BJP’s prot r a c t e d b at t l e with­theCongress a pres­tige is­sue for the saf­fron party, which is de­ter­mined to ei­ther form a govern­ment or con­tinue with Pres­i­dent’s rule till fresh elec­tions are held. Af­ter the Supreme Court stay on the Ut­tarak­hand high court or­der gave a breather to the BJP, se­nior partylead­er­sETtalked­to­saidthey will now en­gage in strate­gis­ing to clinch the April 29 floor test in the as­sem­blyif it­take­splace.How­ever, with the mat­ter in court, it is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how events would

With the mat­ter in court, it is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how events would un­fold

un­fold. “It is a pres­tige is­sue for the BJP now. We can­not al­low Har­ish Rawat to be­come chief min­is­ter. Ei­ther we will form a govern­ment or there will be Pres­i­dent’s rule till elec­tions are held,” a se­nior BJP leader said.

Elec­tions are due in Ut­tarak­hand in early 2017 but BJP lead­ers main­tainthat­nowthep­ar­ty­may­haveto gear up for polls ear­lier in case the num­bers in the assem­bly do not add up.

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