Uttarakhand BJP in overdrive, while Cong in disarray for Lok Sabha poll preparations
Dehradun, Aug 6
With less than ten months to go for the general elections of 2024, the Uttarakhand unit of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all geared up in an attempt to repeat its’ performance of previous two general elections of 2014 and 2019, but the main opposition Congress party in the state is in complete disarray.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami a favourite of the BJP high command has been leading the ruling party with full support of the party machinery including ‘Sangh Parivar’ organisations in preparing for the big electoral battle of 2024. The BJP has shown remarkable success in the elections battles fought in the state since 2014. The party has won all the five seats in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections while it won the 2017 and 2022 state assembly elections with comfortable wins.
Despite such streak of electoral successes in the past decade in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP is not leaving any stone unturned in its’ quest for another clean sweep in the coming general elections. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has been in election mode since the party won the 2022 state assembly elections. He has been a star performer in the ‘Sangh Parivar’ ranks with his actions and announcements starting with implementing his election promise of having Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and ‘campaigns’ against ‘Land Jehad’, ‘Love Jehad’ and ‘Mazar Jehad’ in the state adhering to the ‘Hindutva’ agenda of the party in a state having majority upper caste Hindus.
Apart from his political actions and rhetoric, the BJP as a political party is working as a well oiled machine for the Lok Sabha elections. Chief Minister Dhami visited central leaders including the Prime Minister and other central ministers thrice in the past month and got many benefits and concessions for the state including a package of Rs.951 crore from the Centre.
The powerful party general secretary B.L. Santosh was in Uttarakhand for a two day visit to meet all the senior party functionaries and advised them about the minute details about preparing for the elections. All the related organisations of the party would be activated in the coming months and party MPs have been entrusted with the task of working at the booth level in the assembly segments where party lost in the 2022 state assembly polls. Senior party leaders are visiting homes of prominent citizens of the state to inform them about the achievements of ten years of Modi rule in the country.
On the contrary, main opposition Congress which on the suggestion of its’ leader Rahul Gandhi wanted to start a ‘yatra’ in the state in the month of September to kick start its’ election campaign is presently undergoing internecine battle. While, the senior most leader and former Chief Minister Harish Rawat along with Harak Singh Rawat, another senior party leader are facing a CBI probe into allegations of corruption, an all out war is going on between various factions of the state Congress.
Karan Mahra, Uttarakhand Congress Chief finds himself in a piquant situation following a viral video. The party has started a campaign to get justice for Ankita Bhandari, a young girl killed by her employer, son of a senior RSS functionary along with his accomplices in September 2022. During the concluding function of the campaign, Karan Mahra reportedly made some disparaging remarks about Garhwali people for not coming out against the alleged killers of Ankita Bhandari.
The ruling BJP which is on the back foot on Ankita Bhandari murder case exploited the remarks by making them viral and condemning the Congress and its’ state President. Karan Mahra publicly apologised for his comments but alleged that his comments were doctored and presented in a wrong manner by the BJP’s social media groups. But he also charged one of the general secretary for making the said video clip viral and issued him a show cause notice. This has resulted in a no barred barrage of accusations by various party factions against each other. The party general secretary incharge Devendra Yadav was last seen in the state months ago. The Uttarakhand Congress leaders plans to hold a meeting on August 7, 2023 for the proposed yatra of Rrahul Gandhi to be held in September in the state.