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With State Leaders Openly Expressing Discontent, is Uttarakhand Congress Again Heading For a Split?

Supporters of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat are demanding the resignations of state Congress chief and legislative party chief. (PTI)

Supporters of former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat are demanding the resignations of state Congress chief and legislative party chief. (PTI)

Leaders and legislators close to Congress general secretary Harish Rawat are demanding removal of Rawat’s bete noir Indira Hridayesh and Pritam Singh from the post they are presently holding.

Anupam Trivedi
  • News18
  • Last Updated: May 25, 2019, 7:27 PM IST
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Dehradun: A strong discontent seems to be brewing against state Congress leadership in Uttarakhand within 48 hours of a humiliating defeat in all five Lok Sabha seats in the hilly state.

Leaders and legislators close to Congress general secretary Harish Rawat are demanding removal of Rawat’s bete noir Indira Hridayesh and Pritam Singh from the post they are presently holding.

Both Pritam and Hridayesh are senior Congress legislators. Pritam is state Congress chief while latter is the leader of the opposition in the Uttarakhand assembly. In the 70-member assembly, Congress has just 11 legislators.

Rawat supporters believe that both top leaders in state should take responsibility for the debacle and high command should replace them with young leaders.

“The Lok Sabha polls have devastated the morale of the workers. Why Pritam Singh and Indira Hridayesh are still holding on to their chairs? Party should immediately show them doors,” quipped Harish Dhami, Congress MLA from Dharchula and a confidant of Harish Rawat.

Sources in the party claim that at least six MLAs are in favour of forming a separate group inside the state assembly in case the party doesn’t bow to their demands.

In 2016, the Congress witnessed a major split when a breakaway group of 10 legislators joined BJP. After the spilt, Congress became a fringe party in the 2017 assembly polls and further its position deteriorated in the Lok Sabha polls.

The result suggests that out of 70 assembly seats, Congress has leads in just four minority dominated assembly segments in Haridwar district and one seat in Dehradun.

Interestingly, both Uttarakhand and Delhi assemblies have 70 seats each and in these two states BJP was ahead in 65 assemblies while Congress could take a lead only in five segments.

“Any legislator or leader having issues should raise voice on party forum,” said Pritam Singh.

Singh contested from Tehri parliamentary seat and lost by over 2.5 lakh votes. On the contrary, former chief minister Harish Rawat who contested from Nainital, lost by a margin of over 3 lakh votes.

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