Dehradun: Opposition BJP in Uttarakhand today asked the Harish Rawat government to step down, accusing it of being "hand in glove" with the land and mining mafia, but the state Congress has called the allegation "unfounded" and levelled by the rival party out of "sheer frustration".
Alleging that land and mining mafia has flourished under Congress rule in Uttarakhand, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt demanded Rawat government`s resignation on moral grounds, accusing it of looting the state`s resources by colluding with the mafia.
"Land and mining mafia in Uttarakhand have flourished under Congress regime. Officials cannot act against the mining mafia because of the government`s patronage to it. This has led to an anarchic situation in the state," Bhatt said.
Former BJP chief minister and MP, Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank had recently alleged a mining scam worth thousands of crores of rupees in the state and attributed it to a nexus between the mining mafia, officials and politicians.
However, rubbishing the charges, Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyay said, BJP can foresee its imminent defeat in the forthcoming bypolls to Dharchula, Doiwala and Someshwar assembly seats, and the "unfounded" allegations were being made by the opposition party out of "sheer frustration".
He claimed that the party will bag all three seats and strengthen the hands of the Harish Rawat government. "Mud-slinging by BJP will have no effect on the electorate which can see though its gameplan. The Congress is all set to emerge victorious from all the seats," he said.
Harish Rawat is contesting Dharchula seat to seek his entry into the state assembly as a member. Senior party leader is in the fray from Doiwala whereas Rekha Arya is contesting Someshwar assembly seat. Bypoll to the three assembly seats is being held on July 21.
In the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly Congress has 33 seats and it is three seats short of the magic figure of 36. However, it survives on the support of seven-member PDF which includes three independents. Oppoition BJP has 30 members in the House.