Congress grapples with leadership issue in Uttarakhand

Wednesday, 09 June 2021 | PNS | Dehradun

The state In-charge Devendra Yadav meets Harish Rawat, Pritam Singh & Indira Hridayesh in Delhi. The party wants the warring factions to bury the hatchet before the crucial assembly elections

A close door meeting of the top leader of Uttarakhand Congress convened by the in-charge of the Uttarakhand Congress Devendra Yadav on Monday has again brought to the fore the leadership issue in the state Congress. The meeting was attended by the former chief minister and general secretary of Uttarakhand Congress Harish Rawat, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Pritam Singh and the leader of opposition in state assembly Indira Hridayesh.

It is learnt that the party high command has directed the top leaders of Uttarakhand Congress to bury the hatchet and work in unison to ensure that the party is able to come back to power in the Himalayan state where the assembly elections are slated in early part of next year.  To iron out the differences between these leaders and to strategise the plans of the party these leaders are expected to meet again on Saturday.

However in between these two meetings, the former CM Harish Rawat would meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi. Rawat is in- charge of the party in Punjab and is part of a three member team constituted by the party to defuse the crisis in Punjab. In the meeting, apart from discussing Punjab, Rawat is expected to discuss the situation of Uttarakhand with Gandhi. It is learnt that Rawat wants the party to relieve him from the responsibility of Punjab so that he is able to concentrate his energies in Uttarakhand. The assembly elections in both Uttarakhand and Punjab would be held at the same time early next year.

When contacted by The Pioneer, the in -charge of Uttarakhand Congress Devendra said that the upcoming elections in the state were discussed in the meeting. He said that more meetings would be held in coming days with the state leaders and the party would strategise on a plan to take on the BJP. On leadership issue Yadav said that everyone should work in synergy to achieve the bigger goal of defeating BJP in assembly elections next year.

In Uttarakhand the Congress party is clearly divided into camps led by Harish Rawat, a combined group of leaders owing allegiance to PCC president Pritam Singh and Indira Hridayesh. There is a third faction though small, is of the former PCC president Kishore Upadhyaya. The leaders of these three factions are commonly seen charting their own course. However Harish Rawat remains the tallest leader of the party in the state. In recent times Rawat has consistently expressed his desire that the party should project someone from the senior leaders of the party as chief ministerial candidate. This wish of his has found no favour with the party leadership so far and is said to be in favour of collective leadership. 

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