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Pauri MP joins BJP, Rawat govt’s fall imminent

Pauri MP joins BJP, Rawat govt’s fall imminent
The party leadership is now waiting with bated breath for the next move of the Maharaj group, which is believed to have 11 MLAs backing it.

In the 70-member state assembly, Congress has 33 MLAs and has formed the government with the support of the BSP, independents and splinter groups, who together form the Progressive Democratic Front having seven MLAs with them. Headed by Mantri Prasad Naithani, PDF is believed to be closer to the Maharaj then chief minister Harish Rawat.

The BJP, on the other hand, has 30 MLAs in the House and in the event of 11 MLAs withdrawing support, the government goes into a minority. Ever since Rawat replaced Vijay Bahuguna as chief minister just over a month back on 1 February, trouble has been brewing within the party especially over the distribution of portfolios among the ministers including Maharaj’s wife Amrita Rawat.

Rawat had tried to douse the crisis visiting Satpal Maharaj at his Delhi residence for an amenable and negotiated settlement of the matter. Maharaj had earlier indicated his unhappiness over the whole matter while announcing that he was not interested in contesting Pauri seat again. This failed to stir the high command to meet his demand and thus the move. The BJP has already announced the name of former chief minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri as party candidate from Pauri.

At this time, when Congress is still to open cards for LS polls from Uttarakhand, the loss of the trump card is a big loss to state Congress team. Maharaj’s popularity is not restricted to Pauri constituency alone, but he is a respected personality in Tehri and Haridwar regions too. He is the most popular face among the large Rajput community of Garhwal region.
Sandeep Bankhwal

Sandeep Bankhwal

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