Ahead of polls, Uttarakhand Congress presents united front as it launches yatra

Riven by factional struggles over the last several months, the Uttarakhand Congress Friday projected a united front for the 2022 Assembly elections as it kicked off a “Parivartan (change) Yatra” in Khatima, the constituency of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

Underlining the show of unity, former Chief Minister Harish Rawat told the gathering: “This is Congress that you are seeing. If it has Harish Rawat and Govind Singh, it also has Pritam Singh (leader of Opposition) and Ganesh Godiyal (PCC president). It has Bhuvan Kapdi (working president) and others too. This is a confluence of generations… we will provide leadership that will make you proud.”

उत्तराखंड आज करे परिवर्तन का ऐलान…..

मिलेगा सबको न्याय, हो पूरे सब अरमान।

न्याय के लिए आज उठ खड़ा है

महिला हो या किसान,

कांग्रेस के संग उत्तराखंड का आवाम।#उत्तराखंड_मांगे_परिवर्तन pic.twitter.com/Fj3Peyn1Hg

— Uttarakhand Congress (@INCUttarakhand) September 3, 2021

Rawat is also the head of the Congress campaign committee for the polls. He emerged as the clear leader following the differences between him and Pritam Singh over the choice for the CM face. In July, the party replaced Pritam Singh with Rawat loyalist Godiyal as the state unit president. Pritam Singh was named legislature party leader. In fact, an argument broke out during Godiyal’s appointment ceremony at the party headquarters as one faction raised slogans in favour of Rawat while another supported Pritam Singh.

In a bid to unite the factions, the Congress central leadership in July also constituted various committees, accommodating all the senior leaders and their loyalists.

On Friday, Rawat targeted the Narendra Modi government over price rise, unemployment and the farm protests. He said the Congress was taking out the Parivartan Yatra to seek relief from inflation and unemployment. The former CM also promised to fill all government vacancies within a year of the Congress coming to power in the hill state.

देव भूमि को सर्वोत्तम बनाना है,

इसलिए कांग्रेस को वापस लाना है।

परिवर्तन यात्रा में ट्रैक्टर मार्च।#उत्तराखंड_मांगे_परिवर्तन pic.twitter.com/44NGWEw3dg

— Uttarakhand Congress (@INCUttarakhand) September 3, 2021

Pritam Singh, meanwhile, slammed the BJP for cycling through a series of chief ministers in the state. He also promised a “corruption-free” government. Pritam Singh said the party decided to start the Parivartan Yatra from Khatima because it is the land of statehood activists who sacrificed their life for the movement.

Congress leaders later held programmes in Nanak Matta and Sitarganj Assembly constituencies on the first day of the yatra. The leaders also took out a tractor march during the yatra.

Chief Minister Dhami, meanwhile, addressed an “Ashirwad (blessing) Yatra” organised by the BJP in Srinagar of Pauri Garhwal district to launch its poll campaign.

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