Bracing for battle
By making a slew of appointments in different boards and assigning responsibilities to different leaders of the saffron party, the Chief Minister TSR has tried to assuage the hurt sentiments of many in the party and make things easy for him just ahead of the tour of national president of the party. TSR has already sounded the bugle for the decisive battle of assembly elections slated in early part of 2022 by embarking on a series of inaugurations and foundation stone laying ceremonies of many projects to portray a development friendly image of his before the electorate of the state that has a reputation of favouring a change in the political battles. Things at present look rosy for him as the leaders of the principal opposition party appear busier in settling down personal scores rather than taking the ruling party head on. At the intra party level too, the incumbent CM appears in total control of the situation with some occasional voice of dissent which can be termed perfectly normal. These factors coupled with the fact that the important support of the powerful duo of NaMo and Shah is with him, making his position very formidable within the party.
That the Congress party in the Himalayan state is a divided house is known fact but only recently it was disclosed that the party which has ruled the state for half of the time after it was carved out of UP twenty years ago has sleeper cells of BJP within it. These cells became active ahead of elections to damage the prospects of the Congress candidates. This disclosure was made by none other than the deputy leader of the party in the state assembly after a no hold barred mudslinging battle ensued in the party on the issue of leadership. It is true that a large faction owing allegiance to the Congress stalwart and former chief minister Harish Rawat is now getting restless and wants that the party should formally declare Rawat as its CM candidate for 2022 assembly election while the supporters of incumbent PCC chief Pritam Singh and Leader of Opposition, Indira Hridayesh strongly oppose the idea. Game of brinkmanship is common in political parties and is more prevalent in the Congress but the pitch at which the battle is being fought within the Uttarakhand Congress suggests that the sleeper cells of BJP would not be required in the battle of 2022.
It is normal for the beat reporters of newspapers, especially local ones and the news channels to share information among themselves which makes their tasks somewhat easier. To add weight to their stories, the scribes include versions of relevant authorities and when some officials don’t pick up their phone, they under pressure from the editor tend to add some simple statement (non controversial) of the person concerned without even him uttering a word. The trick normally works as the version being harmless is not contested by the person concerned. However, in an interesting case happened recently, the director of Dehradun airport issued a statement that the version printed in two leading dailies about a leopard entering the airport terminal was never given by him. The director clarified that both the boundary wall and the fence erected over it are in perfect condition and as per the required standards. In the newspapers he was quoted as saying that the orders for repairing the fence of the terminal have been given.
Friday, 04 December 2020 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun