Hindustan Times (East UP)
Cong starts ‘Sara U’khand Harda Ke Sang’ campaign
Analysts say move aims to cement Harish Rawat’s position as Cong CM candidate
DEHRADUN: Bracing up for the 2022 state assembly election, the Congress state unit on Monday launched a month-long campaign “Sara Uttarakhand Harda Ke Sang” (All Uttarakhand with Harish Rawat) under leadership of former chief minister and party national general secretary Harish Rawat.
Rawat is also the president of party’s election campaign committee for the upcoming election. Popularly known as “Harda” among his supporters, Rawat will be visiting all the 70 assembly constituencies during the campaign.
Political analysts said the campaign was “basically to cement Harish Rawat’s position as Congress CM candidate.”
“In the ongoing tenure of about four years and nine months of the BJP state government, the common man of the state has been hurt like never before. BJP’s government at the Centre had also ignored all the core issues of Uttarakhand.
Being the president of Congress’ election campaign committee, I will reach out to all the 70 constituencies and major electoral centres of the state to raise the issues of Uttarakhand and save Uttarakhandiyat,” said Rawat.Speaking on the campaign, Rawat said, “As the president of party’s election campaign committee, I would be going among the people of Uttarakhand across all the constituencies and major electoral centres to raise their issues against the BJP government which did nothing in its last four years and nine months of tenure for the development of state, but only changed its CMs.”
“As I have already said that the campaign’s core would be ‘mandua (millet), sugarcane and artisans’ as all these three are deeply connected with Uttarakhand and Uttarakhandiyat which we are fighting to protect. People connected with all these are suffering the most under the BJP government,” said Rawat.
Further explaining the reason behind making the above-mentioned issues as the core of party’s campaign the former CM said that by raising the issue of mandua (millet) which is majorly grown in the hilly areas of Uttarakhand, Congress will touch all the other grains being grown in the hills.
“Similarly, with sugarcane, we will raise the issues of farmers of our plain regions where it is grown the most. And thirdly, with the issue of artisans we will raise the issues of condition of the state’s artisans who are vital part of Uttarakhand’s identity. The BJP government has ignored all these major issues during its tenure so far. As we have said, we will fight to save Uttarakhandiyat which the BJP has damaged a lot while being in power,” said Rawat.
He informed that after campaigning for the month of December, touching “all the seats”, the party’s campaign will then be carried forward by other senior party leaders of state including state unit president Ganesh Godiyal and leader of opposition Pritam Singh.
Political analyst SMA Kazmi said: “No matter what changes come in the state Congress, the tallest leader in it is still Harish Rawat. He is a mass leader in true sense with a support base in both Garhwal and Kumaon regions. This campaign named after him is only a move to cement himself as the party’s CM candidate if it is voted to power in upcoming elections.”
He added, “Rawat being a very senior and seasoned politician, won’t let anyone become the CM if the party wins the elections. The campaign named stating Sara Uttarakhand Harda Ke Sang is an indirect message in that context only.”
Another political analyst MM Semwal said, “There is no doubt that in Uttarakhand Congress means Harish Rawat. No other leader in the party can match his stature.”
Semwal said, “The party’s whole campaign would revolve around Rawat only as he wants the elections to be CM Pushkar Singh Dhami vs him. That’s why, the campaign named after him is launched by the party.”
However, party state in charge Devendra Yadav refused the claims, saying: “Rawat is a very senior leader and the president of party’s election campaign committee due to which he is leading the campaign.”
“As far as the CM candidature is concerned, in Congress we don’t declare the CM candidate beforehand. It is decided only after the party wins the elections. The same will happen in Uttarakhand too,” said Yadav.
The BJP termed the Congress as a “dying party”.
“It won’t matter what sort of campaign the party runs; it is not going to win the elections because people know that it did only corruption when it was in power till 2017 under Harish Rawat as CM,” BJP state president Madan Kaushik.
It (campaign) is not going to win election as people know that it (Cong) did only corruption when it was in the power till 2017... MADAN KAUSHIK, BJP state unit president