Reminiscences: 1984, Those were truly the golden days:Free Thinker – Sunil Negi

Reminiscences: 1984, Those were truly the golden days:Free Thinker – Sunil Negi

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These are my pictures of the eighties with the former Union Minister ( three time minister, communications, Petroleum n Chemicals n Finance ) n CM UP,  late H.N. Bahuguna, a renowned political stalwart, rather a statesman  ( would not hesitate to say) addressing few of my friend volunteers at his house, 92 Shahjahan Road, New Delhi who’d volunteered to go to Pauri Garhwal constituency  to campaign for him from where he was contesting as an independent candidate (after leaving Congress in a huff but on principles) against the then Congress candidate Chandramohan Singh Negi. This election was postponed after it was rigged n later HN Bahuguna won by over thirty thousand votes, giving a huge rebuff to the then PM Indiraji as under her directives, the then entire central government was  allegedly involved to ensure his defeat. To substantiate my contention,  I would authentically say that the then home minister Gyani Zail Singh, the chief ministers of the then Congress ruled states viz. Arjun Singh, Madhya Pradesh, Bhajan Lal, Haryana, Darbara Singh from Punjab n several other central ministers, MPs n MLAs’ were deployed at Pauri, Srinagar, Karnprayag, Rudraprayag, Kotdwar n Dehradun with the clear instructions that there should be no dearth of resources to ensure Bahuguna’s defeat who was then considered to be the direct political threat to the then leader of the political establishment at the centre i.e. Smt Gandhi herself. The election assumed historic significance because the then election commissioner SL Shakdhar has taken a serious note of the rigging n other serious malpractices at the behest of Congress through the hired goons from several states outside Uttarakhand. The BBC played a pivotal role to highlight the injustices done against the people of Garhwal n Bahuguna by denying them the fundamental right to vote through coercion n threats. The print media too highlighted it extensively demoralising the then ruling Congress Party. However, this was HN’ s last election from Garhwal as he shifted to Allahabad next time to lose at the hands of the political novice, the popular cine actor n international celebrity Amitabh Bachchan who was the Congress candidate. I’ve been privileged to be in close political proximity of HN Bahugunaji from 1979 till his journey to the eternal home.  I along with my several youth volunteers were deputed as the in-charge of Kot n Choundkot blocks of Pauri Garhwal, being Rajput dominated blocks in both the elections n number of the then opposition political dignitaries like Raj Narain, Tarkeshwari Sinha, C Rajeshwar Rao, Chandra Shekhar etc were campaigning from Bahuguna’s side. Am immensely lucky to be under his political guidance n patronage as I got a golden opportunity to learn a  lot from him. Stalwarts like Indira Gandhi n HN Bahuguna take birth once in centuries. Bahuguna transcended all boundaries of caste, community, religion n races. He was the great secular leader, the inventor of Roza Iftar parties in India.  He was above all n as determined n committed as the Himalayas. As per my fb friend  Gajendra Bahugunaji’s version his memories would leave everybody flabbergasted n spell bound.

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