After meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today said he was not thinking of snap polls to the Assembly and wanted to focus on "restoring" development.
“That will happen when the time comes. Right now, the priority is to restore the development of Uttarakhand, which has got derailed in the last two months. The state’s development momentum has got a jolt, which we have to bring back”.
“This is the biggest priority before our cabinet and government and we are focussed on that. Uttarkhand wants its development. We want to grow in our own way. Our fight is against poverty, development,” he told reporters here when asked about the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle or snap poll in the state.
There has been speculation that Congress may go for a snap poll to clear uncertainty with the issue of disqualification of of its nine MLAs still before the Supreme Court.
A day after being reinstated, Rawat visited the national capital to meet Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. He could not meet Rahul.
Rawat also said that as Chief Minister he is always willing to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the development of the state, insisting that his purpose is “not getting into confrontation” with anybody.
“I am a Chief Minister. I would definitley like to seek the cooperation of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister—everyone in the interest of the state. My purpose is not getting into confrontation with anybody.
“This is not a matter of victory or defeat. If this is any victory, the victoy is of Uttarakhand people, state and democracy. I would like to turn it into the victory for development. I would like to take all possible support from the central government for it,” Rawat said when asked whether he wanted to meet the Prime Minister.
To a query on whether he fears any reprisal from the Centre after he won the trust vote, the Chief Minister said “I will not like to talk about fear and apprehension. I will only talk about expectation. Our expectation is that we bring back development and maintain that momentum. I will welcome the support of all for this.”
Asked whether he has any message for the nine rebel MLAs of Congress, Rawat replied in the negative saying “the scope of any such message came to an end on April 19 when they went and sat in the lap of BJP. They went with those communal forces with which Congress cannot compromise.”
Describing his meeting with the Congress President as “very good”, he said that he thanked Sonia Gandhi on behalf partymen, people of Uttarakhand and on behalf secular democratic forces.
“I told her that her support gave us strength to fight for democracy in Uttarakhand. Finally, democracy and justice won there. The respect for judiciary in people’s eyes rose very high. They emerged as a custodian of Constitutional faith.
“I also wanted to thank Rahulji but the meeting could not take place,” he said.