Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat’s Twitter post on Wednesday has triggered a political storm both within and outside Congress. While the Congress high command has called a meeting of senior leaders from the state tomorrow, party MP Manish Tewari today appeared to take a dig at the party high command as well as Rawat over the latter’s remarks yesterday. Rawat created a flutter when he suggested in a Twitter post that his hands were tied and he wasn’t receiving adequate support from the state unit of the party in poll-bound Uttarakhand and that it may be time to retire.
Reacting to Rawat’s remarks, Tewari said, “FIRST ASSAM, THEN PUNJAB, NOW UTTARAKHAND…..BHOG POORA HI PAUN GAYE, KASAR NA RAHE JAWE KOI (The final rituals after death will get completed, leave no stone unturned).” Notably, Rawat has served in important roles in the functioning of the party units in these states at different points of time in the recent past. Not too long ago, Rawat was the Congress’ troubleshooter in Punjab where then CM Amarinder Singh and PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu were locked in an ugly battle. It was under Rawat’s watch that the Congress decided to replace Captain Amarinder Singh with Charanjit Singh Channi as the Punjab Chief Minister.
Tewari, a Congress MP from Sri Anandpur Sahib, is also a signatory to the G-23 group of Congress leaders demanding reforms within the Congress and has been critical of the party leadership in the past. His tweet today on the Rawat episode also sought to highlight how the party high command’s high-handedness were impacting the party.
Former Congress leader and ex-Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh also took a dig at Rawat after the latter’s post yesterday. “You reap what you sow! All the best for your future endeavours (if there are any), Harish Rawati ji,” said Singh. Rawat was the Congress party’s in-charge for Punjab and was key in handling the dissent against Amarinder Singh eventually leading to his ouster from the grand old party.
Rawat had yesterday said, “We have to swim in this sea of election, but the organisation, instead of supporting me, has turned its back on me or is playing a negative role…Those in power have let loose many crocodiles (predators) in the sea that we have to cross. Representatives of those who have ordered me to swim, are tying up my hands and legs. Thought had been occurring to me that it’s enough now, you’ve swam enough and now it is time to rest. I am in a dilemma, perhaps new year will show me a path.”
Asked to clarify on his tweet later, Rawat said, “When the time comes, I will call you (media) and share it with you. For now, enjoy this.”
The Congress party had been facing internal revolt in many states including Assam, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The G-23 leaders – Congress leaders who want internal reforms in the party – have been urging the party high command to set things straight before it gets too late. Uttarakhand will go to the polls early next year and the party will have to find a suitable resolution to the issues raised by Rawat as early as possible.