The party high command is surely in no mood to let an open election for choosing the next CM in Uttarakhand. Had she been in tandem with Rahul’s pearls of wisdom, she would have taken her upper hand back and let the MLAs decide. Rahul’s speech is for PR, high command’s words are concrete.
Finally, it seems, the Congress party has come to its senses as Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna resigned from the office on Friday. But we cannot be so sure as there is full preparation for putting another person at the top post by party high command without any consultation by the local MLAs.
In the words of Bahuguna, he resigned from the post of chief minister “on the directives of the party high command”. Tomorrow there will be a meeting of MLAs and he has requested them to pass a resolution with consensus “authorizing” Congress president Sonia Gandhi to elect the new chief minister.
Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and AICC General Secretaries Janardan Dwivedi and Ambika Soni, who is in charge of party affairs in the State, are reported to be in Dehradun on Saturday as central observers for ensuring a smooth changeover.
It should be noted that for months the speculations over Bahuguna’s ouster were high after he failed to act appropriately during the flash floods that had hit the state in June last year claiming thousands of lives. His alleged delayed response with rescue operations being launched about four to five days after the calamity struck on June 16-17 came in for bitter criticism, prompting the party high command to look for a substitute for him.
The Congress, with 33 members in the Assembly, enjoys the support of the seven-member Progressive Democratic Front that comprises three independents, three members of the BSP and one MLA of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal. The remaining 30 MLAs are of the BJP.
This thin majority was to be maintained at all cost at all time.
When Bahuguna was instated as chief minister of the state, it was solely because of his closeness with the party high command Sonia Gandhi, as he neither had a long history of starry politics (he was an MP for only five years) nor was he a leader enjoying massive support. The MLAs did not have the confidence in him because he was already under question due to his controversial resignation from the post of judge from Allahabad High Court.
The other name, which has sprung more times by now, was of Harish Rawat, an MP from Haridwar and a mass leader. He was a union minister and was first elected to the parliament in 1980s. He also has a clean image unlike Bahuguna and enjoyed MLAs’ confidence. The majority was in the favour of Rawat, but Sonia needed someone under her thumb.
But what has it all got to do with Rahul Gandhi?
Well, Rahul has made so much noise in the past about pitching and putting clean image politicians but party high command always seems to be differing from him. This was the case in Uttarakhand and it was repeated in assembly polls in four states last year.
Even if we believe that this guard of change has come through the wisdom that the Congress party has gained due to its loss in those states, it is simply not to believe that Rahul’s words were heeded.
The party high command is surely in no mood to let an open election for choosing the next CM in Uttarakhand. Had she been in tandem with Rahul’s pearls of wisdom, she would have taken her upper hand back and let the MLAs decide. Even if they would have come with Rawat’s name written in a closed envelop, it woulod have been a result of party’s inner democracy and a constitutional process that Rahul decries of.
But that is not happening. Neither it happened in the case of “nonsense” ordnance, nor will it happen while making unholy alliances for general elections.
Rahul’s speech is for PR, high command’s words are concrete.