oppn parties Uttarakhand: BJP Streamrolls the Congress

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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Uttarakhand: BJP Streamrolls the Congress

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-03-13 12:02:02

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
For the BJP, Uttarakhand assembly elections were special. The party had lost face when the Supreme Court reinstated the Harish Rawat-led Congress government after the Centre had dismissed it on the advice of the state governor. The Union government had perhaps rushed into taking a faulty decision then. But the elections proved that the people were fed up with the shenanigans in the Congress. Governance was taking a back seat as Congress leaders were busier in holding on to their respective turfs and keeping their house in order. Finally, the Modi tsunami that hit them has left them with no turf. There will be more infighting in the Congress as a result and leaders going their own way to float regional parties cannot be ruled out. Some might even join the BJP.

Uttarakhand is devbhoomi, home to several important Hindu pilgrimage spots including Haridwar, Rishikesh, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Since the BJP has taken up the mantle of being the Hindu party, it is obvious it wants to rule Uttarakhand. PM Modi’s tweet calling the state devbhoomi confirms this. Hence, along with UP, Amit Shah’s focus was also on Uttarakhand, partly to erase the memories of a botched up President’s rule which earned a rebuke by the Supreme Court and partly to control a state associated with Hindu pilgrimage. Hence, the scale of the victory must have pleased both Modi and Shah even as it stunned the others into silence. That outgoing chief minister Harish Rawat himself lost shows that even though the Supreme Court faulted the procedure of the President’s rule, the people firmly believed that Rawat was involved in horse trading and worse, as the sting operation CD showed.

The state is another example of how the Congress high command allows its local leaders to fight among themselves and sink the party. The Rahul Gandhi formula is to interfere where interference is not required and do not when it is urgently required. This has made Congress lose state after state as its local leaders, foisted as they are from the top, are neither popular nor fit to rule. Further, they have always got to look over their shoulders to prevent a stab in the back from their own party leaders. This has reduced the Congress footprint and made it even worse than a regional party. After UP, people will even shy away from having it as an ally. It will take a huge effort on the part of the party to keep its flock together in Uttarakhand, as also to motivate its devastated workers.