We need to fight unitedly in Uttarakhand, Congress acting president Sonia Gandhi will decide the Chief Minister when we get the mandate, the party’s campaign head Harish Rawat told NDTV today.
“The view of the party leadership is that we need to fight the elections unitedly and we will take the decision on the Chief Minister when we get the mandate to pick one. And Sonia ji will then decide (the Chief Minister) and the party will comply with her decision,” he said.
Mr Rawat recently made public and clear hints that the central leadership of the party had abandoned him in favour of the state Congress in charge. Congress then moved to quell dissatisfaction and made him head of the campaign committee in the hill state.
“We are facing this challenge unitedly. We are one and under the leadership of Sonia ji and Rahul ji,” he said when asked about infighting in the party.
“Isn’t it strange? We have to swim in this sea of elections, but instead of supporting me, the organisation has either turned its back on me or is playing a negative role,” Harish Rawat had tweeted on December 22.
“The powers-that-be have let loose many crocodiles (predators) in the sea that we have to navigate. Those whom I am supposed to follow, their people have tied my hands and feet. I have been thinking… Harish Rawat, it’s gone too far, you have done enough, it is time to rest,” he had said then.
He stands by his tweets. “That statement was a fact but some corrective steps were taken,” he said. Praising the party’s internal democracy, he thanked the party leaders for making amends. “Complaining doesn’t mean there’s infighting,” he said.
Explaining his dissatisfaction when he tweeted about them, he said that he was made in charge of campaigning but the block committee and “many other committees” weren’t cooperating with him.
“A large section of the party wasn’t involved in the organisational work and when I gave suggestions, they went unheard. That’s why I conveyed it to the party leadership and chose to do it through tweets,” he clarified.
On the strategy to defeat the ruling BJP, he said that Congress needed to snatch states from them by raising local issues. “We can counter the BJP’s pet agenda of nationalism with the local issues like unemployment and inflation,” he said.
Talking about the Haridwar hate speech case, Mr Rawat said that there will be immediate action against those involved, including those in law enforcement who failed to act, if Congress comes to power in the state.
“The speeches have hurt the saints and traditions of Haridwar. These people have wronged the country and I condemn the Uttarakhand government for not taking action against the accused,” he added.