It’s looking at going into polls next year on the basis of collective leadership rather than the face of new CM
The BJP’s uncharacteristic move to change the chief minister with less than a year to go for polls in Uttarakhand surprised many when it happened, but a couple of months down the line, the party is looking at going into the polls next year on the basis of collective leadership rather than the face of the new chief minister.
Party leaders are calling this collective leadership pattern the “Assam Model” of going into polls with no guarantees that the sitting chief minister would be repeated, referring to the replacement of Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma after the polls were done.
Tirath Singh Rawat replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand as chief minister after the latter managed to alienate party MLAs, leaders, workers and also the Vishwa Hindu Parishad that threatened him with an agitation if he did not announce the withdrawal of the Devasthanam Act of 2019 that sought to regulate the working of a large number of Hindu shrines, including Badrinath and Kedarnath temples.
Mr. Tirath Singh Rawat has reversed many of his predecessors unpopular decisions, but he is not exactly considered an inspiring choice or administrator.
At a recent stocktaking exercise held in Uttarakhand, BJP national general secretary (organization) BL Santhosh got much feedback from various leaders of the party and one thing was clear, the exit of Mr Trivendra Singh Rawat did not mean the end to factionalism and several leaders belonging to various factions made their concerns clear to Mr. Santhosh.
“At this time, the faction of leaders who had moved from the Congress to the BJP, led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, is active, as are those belonging to factions led by previous BJP chief ministers. While Mr. Tirath Singh Rawat has tried to reverse many unpopular decisions of the Trivendra Singh Rawat government, he has not been able accommodate many of these faction leaders in his team,” said a source.
The divisions within the party have prompted the central leadership to emphasise the collective leadership trope to begin preparations for the next Assembly polls. “Please remember that this is the same State unit that raised slogans of ‘Khanduri hai zaroori’ [Khanduri is necessary] in 2012 before losing the polls due to heavy infighting between the Brahmin and Rajput lobby. Therefore, any declaration will be fraught with danger,” said a senior State unit leader. The hill State’s unit has never been an easy one to manage for either the Congress or the BJP.
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