Cong opposed to Rawat’s decision on Friday prayer break to Muslims

By eNewsDesk Bureau

Dehradun, 20 Dec: Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief Kishore Upadhyay today stressed that Congress as the political party did not support the decision of Harish Rawat’s cabinet permitting one and hour long short break for Friday Namaz to Muslims. Addressing a press conference, at Congress Bhawan here today, Upadhyay made it clear that the party was not consulted by the Harish Rawat Government before the cabinet decided on the issue. However at the same time, Upadhyay also downplayed the differences between the party and the government over the issue by claiming that the government had amended the original order by including all the employees permitting them short break for prayers and added that he had spoken to the Chief Minister on this issue. When asked if he was aware of this decision in advance, Upadhyay claimed that he had come to know of the Cabinet’s decision through media but added that since he was not part of the cabinet, so it was natural that he did not know of such decision. The mistake had been rectified by the government, he stressed.

PCC Chief made another notable remark when in response to a question, he admitted that he was personally in favour of one party one ticket rule. However, he added that the final decision in every such case could only be taken at the higher level since he was not the authority to decide on such an issue. He further added that in forthcoming meetings when deciding on the panel of possible candidates on each seat, he would again bring his opinion before the committee.

It may be recalled that many kin of the present leaders appear keen to contest the coming assembly elections in Uttarakhand. Notable among them is the family of chief minister Harish Rawat, whose sons, Virendra and Anand Rawat and daughter Anupama Rawat are vying for the party ticket from various constituencies. In addition, Sanjeev Arya, son of Cabinet Minister Yashpal Arya and Sumit Hridayesh, son of Cabinet Minister Indira Hridayesh are also in the race for party tickets from various seats. Upadhyay is believed to be referring to them though he did not name anyone.

Yet another issue of major difference between the party and the Government is the issue of PDF. The party and the government had been continuously changing their stand on the issue. While PCC Chief Kishore Upadhyay has consistently opposed grant of party ticket or any pre-poll alliance with the PDF leaders, the party’s stand has not been that consistent. State In-charge of the party affairs, Ambika Soni is among those who have been changing their stand over this issue.

This difference also came to the fore today when in response to questions in this respect, Upadhyay admitted that there were differences. However, he added that the issue had been left to the Chief Minister and the PCC Chief to sort out. When asked if he was still firm over his earlier stand that no party ticket would be given to the PDF members unless they formally and unconditionally joined the party, he added that in politics, nothing was static or rigid, When asked on how many seats the Congress would be contesting polls, he added that he would be able to tell this in coming days. However, he also stated that Congress could contest all the 70 seats when speaking to a news channel in the presence of this correspondent.

Upadhyay claimed that the people were getting angrier by the day over the demonetisaion since the Centre had failed to manage the crisis. He added that the common man was suffering while the rich were having gala time. He added that Congress was a party that cared for and was concerned about the poor but the BJP was not.