New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) Ahead of the Uttarakhand polls, the Congress is likely to replace the current state president with a Dalit.
High level sources said the proposal has been sent to the party president after much deliberation. However, the source did not reveal the name of the person who could lead the party into the elections.
The Uttarakhand leaders have impressed upon the party high command that Dalits are decisive in at least 18 Assembly seats, and have 5,000 to 10,000 votes in remaining ones. The move is aimed to stop the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) from eating into the Dalit votes in plains which has a strong presence. The party is also feeling that with no Dalit leader at fore to tap on this vote after Yashpal Arya left the party and joined the BJP.
The Congress has Harish Rawat as its top most leader after the demise of N.D. Tiwari and former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna left the party to join the BJP. Rawat has been made the General Secretary in-charge Punjab, but he had said, “Home is where the heart is” giving a message to the people that he is still in the state politics.
While the state politics is mainly centered around the Rajput vs. Brahmin, but the Congress wants to get a Dalit as state president to give space to all communities. While Harish Rawat is a Rajput, the CLP leader Indira Hridayesh is a Brahmin.
The party has Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta as its Dalit face in the state. It is likely that he may be the front runner for the post. He is backed by several leaders of the party, while Mamta Rakesh and Rajkumar both are from the SC category and sitting MLAs but Tamta being senior can get the benefit.
The current Congress state in-charge Devendra Yadav did not respond to calls and messages on the issue.
Uttarakhand has 13 seats reserved for the SC while 11 MLAs are from the BJP only two are from the Congress. The other reserved constituencies are for the ST, one of which has Pritam Singh as the MLA and he is also the current state president for the state party.
The BSP has no MLA in the current Assembly but it had three MLAs in 2012, 8 MLAs in 2007, 7 MLAs in 2002. The BJP has 57 MLA in 2017, 31 in 2012 and 35 MLAs in 2007 and 19 in 2002.
The Congress had only 11 MLAs in 2017, 32 in 2012, 21 in 2007 and 36 in 2002.
The state had Nityanand Swami, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, B.C. Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank as its Chief Ministers in the past and Trivendra Singh Rawat is the current CM. While Congress had N.D. Tiwari, Vijay Bahguna and Harish Rawat as the Chief Ministers in the past.