Rawat asks rebel Congress MLAs to raise development issues

Haridwar MP and Union minister Harish Rawat has asked disgruntled Congress MLAs to continue raising issues related to development.

Dehradun: Haridwar MP and Union minister Harish Rawat has asked disgruntled Congress MLAs who have risen in revolt against Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, to continue raising issues related to development in their respective constituencies.

Speaking to reporters during a Janta Darbar programme at his Damkothi office in Haridwar yesterday Rawat said the PCC spokesman Dhirendra Pratap`s statement does not deserve much importance.

"Minutes after the PCC spokesman issued his statement against the rebel MLAs, the Chief Minister distanced himself from it. That shows how lightly he is taken in the party. So the MLAs should not attach much importance to what he is saying and continue raising issues of development in their constituencies as they are finally accountable to the people," said Rawat, to whom the rebel MLAs bear allegiance.

MLAs are elected representatives of the people. So there is nothing wrong if they are expressing their concern over the lack of development in their constituencies, he said.

Five MLAs of the ruling Congress including Harish Dhami (Dharchula), Hemesh Kharkwal (Champavat), Mayukh Mahar (Pithoragarh), Manoj Tiwari (Almora) and Narayanram Arya (Gangolihat) have spoken openly against the Chief Minister, alleging lack of development in their constituencies.

They even boycotted a meeting convened by the CM on June 10 to hear their grievances and met Aggarwal at his residence instead to vent them triggering sharp reaction from PCC spokesman Dhirendra Pratap who demanded the resignation of three of them from the posts they hold in the government if they have no faith in the chief minister.

The PCC spokesman`s statement further frayed the tempers of the disgruntled MLAs who met the state assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal demanding his suspension from the party post.

Dhami has set the state government a deadline of one month to redress his complaints and reiterated his threat to resign from the state assembly if the state government failed to address his concern within the given time frame.

Rawat was also closeted with state sports minister Dinesh Aggarwal for about an hour.

The meeting assumes significance as the rebel MLAs have submitted their grievances in writing to him and authorised him to convey them to the chief minister.

The main grouse of the rebel MLAs is that though the chief minister announced a slew of development projects for their constituencies, few of them have been taken up in the past 15 months of his tenure sparking resentment among locals.