Uttarakhand is in the news again these days for four major reasons. One, the movement for the new capital of the state, Gairsain which gained tremendous momentum due to widespread protest demonstrations and hunger strike protests in various parts of Uttarakhand acknowledging extensive media coverage. Second, the visit of the nationally acclaimed crusader against corruption Anna Hazare. Third, the most sensitive issue of Pancheshwar Dam likely to be built over the Saryu and Mahakali rivers in Champavat district posing grave danger to more then 30 thousands families of the three districts of Uttatakhand including 130 villages. Fourth, the issue of collection of Funds of Rs 25 crores on the directives of the national BJP chief Amit Shah creating ripples and controversy in the political corridors of Dehradun and fifth, the rumours regarding the possible change of state chief minister.
To be very frank though this himalayan state does not hold much political significance in the central politics, particularly in the making or dethroning of the union government as it gives only five Lok Sabha MP’s to the parliament but it has always been at the centre of controversy in terms of corruption, change of 8 chief ministers in just 18 years and several other reasons whereas a small state like Himachal had been governed by merely 5/ 6 CMs since attaining statehood during the protracted tenure of 57 years.
What a difference of political character between both the Himalayan states. Well, the issue of Gairsain is still hot and the government of the day has relented to some extent by agreeing to hold the budget session in Gairsain in order to appease and asuage the feelings of the movement activists. Anna has also made his mark by holding few well attended rallies in Garhwal, Srinagar and mobilising people in favor of the new capital.
Pancheshwar issue being the central subject is being taken care by the union government with the state BJP government trying to work on the better compensation formula to appease the affected families and village population. The issue of 25 crore fund raising has also not gained much momentum despite little coverage in print and electronic media.
But it seems that the most controvertial and sensitive matter of the possible change in state leadership is spreading like a wild fire though there is no definite or authentic feedback on this pivotal issue except rumor mongering and speculations by the political analysts.
Even social networking site like facebook and several newspapers and electronic channels are carrying stories about the possible change in leadership with Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank as a prospective alternative. While as of now, I personally deny this speculation as merely a cooked up story but am also of the opinion that nothing is impossible in politics.
The present CM incumbent Triverndra Singh Rawat is considered to be the first hand most reliable and trusted man of national party chief Amit Shah and a trusted RSSite. Apart from this, he is trying his best to do whatever he can in a phased manner for the development of the state say his ardent followers. He’d satisfied the high command by collecting the requisite fund for the party to the tune of 25 crores in record time and had also been visiting Delhi very often to keep the central leadership happy and in good humour. Then what’s the problem.
The problem actually is that there are many over ambitious leaders in UK BJP who are still not able to tolerate the upgradation of their junior on the top slot of the state. These detractors are Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat, Vijay Bahuguna, Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and even Bhagat Singh Koshiyari including Major General Khanduri.
It is being said that since Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat and Vijay Bahuguna are old Congressmen and do not fit in the trusted catagory of being CM the choice is non other then former CM and Haridwar MP Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. As far as Koshiyari and Khanduri are concerned they have already crossed 75 years of age and are considered to be misfit for being the state’s CM.
Moreover, if the news making the rounds of the political corridors in Delhi and Dehradun are to be believed the recent meeting called by Dr Nishank at his Dehradun house had good number of BJP MLAs present who pledged to support him in the event of the prospective change in leadership in the state.
Meanwhile, one of the strong and powerful MLA earlier in Congress, a protege of former cm Vijay bahuguna from Mangalore and now in BJP has already met Amit Shah in Delhi and presented him a memorandum demanding immediate change in the state leadership possibly favoring Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank.
Though nothing concrete can be predicted as of now but one thing is for sure that a spark of change has started spreading giving a clear signal that some development of a new kind may perhaps take shape in the coming future in the himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM