Debating India

Hardwar fiasco may hurt Cong in Uttaranchal

Jaskiran CHOPRA

Friday 23 April 2004, by CHOPRA*Jaskiran

DEHRA DUN: The fiasco at Hardwar, where policemen posted at the Ardh Kumbh went berserk on Tuesday and Wednesday, has put the Congress government in the hill state under a cloud, with the Lok Sabha polls barely three weeks away.

Chief minister ND Tiwari, who moved swiftly on Wednesday to order compensation to those injured and a probe by a high court judge, besides suspending the policemen who began it, is stressing the incident is "above politics" and should not be exploited by political parties for their gain. State Congress chief Harish Rawat said here on Thursday he was appealing likewise to other parties.

Rawat was honest enough to admit the fiasco reflected on the police and administration. "This incident should be a lesson for must never be repeated."

However, BJP, the main Opposition party in the state, has moved fast to turn it into an election issue.

Their state chief, ex-chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari, has demanded Tiwari’s resignation on moral grounds. Party spokesman Vishwas Dawar told the media the Hardwar happenings had shown the Congress government had lost all control in the state and must go.

"We are not at all sure that free and fair Lok Sabha elections can be held in the state under such a ruling government," he said.

The Congress, as it is, has no stronghold in Hardwar . There has already been a lot of infighting among Congressmen regarding the candidature of Deepak Kumar, the party’s candidate for the Lok Sabha seat from there. That weak wicket has now worsened.

See online : The Times of India


in The Times of India, Friday, April 23, 2004.

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