Meeting with Rahul Gandhi placates Harish Rawat; will lead election campaign in Uttarakhand
Harish Rawat and other Congress functionaries were called to New Delhi on Friday after Harish Rawat's ‘my hands are tied’ tweet shook the party in poll-bound Uttarakhand.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, who recently expressed his displeasure with the Congress, on Friday, met Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and said he will be leading the Congress campaign in the poll-bound state. On being asked that whether this means that Rawat will be the chief ministerial face of Uttarakhand, he said, "Now, don't distort this." The Congress legislative body will decide the chief ministerial face, Harish Rawat said.
On Wednesday, Harish Rawat posted some cryptic tweets signalling another crisis for the Congress after Punjab as Rawat wrote that thought that probably it is the time to rest has crossed his mind, as he expressed anguish over the increasing factionalism in the state unit of the party. "Isn't it strange, one has to swim in the sea in the form of the forthcoming electoral battle, instead of cooperation, the organisational structure at most places is turning its face away or is playing a negative role," Rawat said. "There are many crocodiles of the ruling dispensation. On whose directions one has to swim, their nominees are tying my hands and feet," Rawat added.
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The emotions expressed in those tweets were strong enough to trigger speculation that Harish Rawat, a troubleshooter of the Congress, was leaving the party ahead of the election. Removal of his posters in the recent Congress rally in Dehradun, attended by Rahul Gandhi, was believed to have disillusioned Rawat, among some other factors.
To add fuel to such speculations, Harish Rawat even stayed away from offering a clarification for his tweets and urged people to enjoy his tweets. However, Congress's go-to person for crisis in any other state never hinted that he will be leaving the Congress for any other political party. After receiving the call from New Delhi, Rawat on Thursday said, "Kadam kadam badhae jaa, Congress ke geet gae jaa. Zingadi hai Uttarakhand ke vaaste, Uttarakhand par lutae jaa (Keep on marching forward, sing praises of the Congress, life is for Uttarkhand, devote it to Uttarakhand)"
After meeting Rahul Gandhi, he reiterated and said, "Kadam, kadam badhaye ja, Congress ke geet gaye ja...I will be the face of election campaigning in Uttarakhand."