Cong, BJP fail to stem revolt, axe rebel ministers

After failing to stem revolts, both the ruling BJP and Congress in Uttarakhand have started expelling rebellious leaders.

Dehra Dun: After failing to stem revolts,
both the ruling BJP and Congress in Uttarakhand have started
expelling rebellious leaders in the run-up to the January 30
assembly elections in a desperate bid to discredit them.

The two parties have had their share of post-ticket
distribution revolts in over 20-22 out of the total 70

The BJP has so far expelled nearly 22 leaders, including
four sitting MLAs -- Kedar Singh Fonia, Raj Kumar, GL Shah
and Anil Nautiyal.

The ruling party, which fielded nearly 36 new faces,
created a political storm by axing nearly 12 of the total 36
sitting MLAs from the poll race in the face of

These also include two cabinet ministers -- Khajan Das
and Govind Singh Bisht, who appear to have now fallen in line
after showing discontent initially.

In a damage control exercise, BJP political managers
succeeded in convincing some of the sulking party leaders not
to hurt the chances of official candidates.

Despite failing to get BJP tickets, a handful of leaders
decided not to contest elections, which is being seen as a
major relief to the party.

The saffron party is now facing severe crisis in Chamoli
district where all the three seats are being contested by
rebel candidates.

From Badrinath, former minister Fonia is fighting
election, while GL Shah and Anil Nautiyal, both Ramesh
Nishank loyalists, will contest from Tharali and Karanprayag.
Congress gave a ticket to its sitting MLA to avoid
rebellion, but it is still facing revolt.

The party, which is divided in three major camps
belonging to leaders Harish Rawat, Vijay Bahuguna and Satpal
Maharaj, has denied tickets to many loyalists, who in turn are
playing spoilsport in other camps.

For example, Jot Singh Bist, a Harish Rawat loyalist, is
fighting independently against Manmohan Mall, who is a staunch
supporter of Bahuguna.

Former minister Mantri Prasad Naithani, a Maharaj
loyalist, is contesting from Devprayag against official
candidate Shurvir Sajwan.

Congress sources said that weak management by state party
leaders was the reason for the rebellion becoming more severe.

Nevertheless, the party has expelled nearly five of its
leaders, including Naithani and Bist, as they refused to

Former tourism minister TPS Rawat, who last year quit
BJP to float Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha, has fielded some of
the disgruntled leaders from both BJP and Congress.


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