National

Harish Rawat’s Request To Congress Ahead Of Punjab, Uttarakhand Polls


Punjab and Uttarakhand go to polls early next year (File)

New Delhi:

Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat, torn between his karmabhoomi and janmabhoomi, today said that he will request the party leadership to relieve him of the responsibility of the party’s Punjab affairs in-charge as he wants to dedicate his efforts for his home state of Uttarakhand.

“Things are getting fraught. As the polls will approach, I will have to devote time to both places (Punjab and Uttarakhand go to polls early next year),” he said in a Facebook post.

While the Congress is seeking to retain power in Punjab, it aims to return to power by defeating the ruling BJP in the hill state.

It was in late August that he first made a similar request, though at the time he said “if the party asks me to continue (as Punjab affairs in-charge), I will continue,” said Mr Rawat.

This time, however, he seems determined.

“I have made up my mind that I will request the party leadership to allow me to dedicate myself completely to Uttarakhand. Therefore, the party should relieve me of my responsibilities in Punjab,” the leader said.

“I will be able to do justice to my karmabhoomi (Punjab), only if I am able to do right by my janmabhoomi (Uttarakhand),” he said, stressing that he has an “emotional bond” with Punjab.

Pointing to the unseasonal rain in Uttarakhand that has claimed at least 46 lives, Mr Rawat said his Punjab duties did not allow him to travel widely in his home state to help people.

“I could visit only a few places. I wanted to help ease people’s pain and reach everyone but my duties (in Punjab) had a different set of expectations from me,” he said.

In Punjab, the Congress constantly appears to be in a firefighting mode. Just last week Punjab unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu made public his letter to Sonia Gandhi flagging several issues. Soon after, Chief Minister Charanjit Channi said all matters will be resolved and the party’s agenda implemented.

Mr Sidhu’s letter, which he put in the public domain by posting on Twitter, had indicated that he was still not satisfied with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi-led government over its handling of key issues which he has been raising in the recent past.

Mr Channi became the chief minister after the unceremonious exit of Congress veteran Amarinder Singh, who had been at loggerheads with Mr Sidhu.



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