DAINIK NATION BUREAU
A day after the BJP’s student affiliate ABVP retained its hold over the DAV PG College- with its candidate having defeated the candidate of Congress affiliate NSUI for the prestigious post of the president of the students’ union by a narrow margin, the fEx-CM Harish Rawat cried foul of the party leaders, saying that they failed to lend their full weight behind the NSUI candidate unlike the BJP leaders. Ironically, the winning margin was just 33 votes-a narrow one, given the fact that the college has remained an ABVP redoubt since 2007.
“We are happy that the NSUI candidate Vikas Negi gave a spirited fight all through. However, we are sad at the same time that Negi did not get full support from the Congress leaders here, something that ABVP candidate Shubham Simalty got in full from the state’s BJP leaders. If Negi had received the whole-hearted support from all the Congress leaders the election might have ended the winning streak of ABVP here,” Rawat said in a press note issued from Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi where he is presently convalescing.
However, the release has let tongues wag in the state Congress roost while the Congress watchers say that it has again exposed the dismal state of factionalism gnawing at the party at the organisation level. “The former CM is not far off the mark as the leaders seem to be now fighting more for their survival in the tough situation than for regaining the glory of the country’s oldest party in the state through an invincible show of unity,” said a state Congress leader, considered close to Rawat. However, another leader who is known as a critic of the former CM’s style of functioning said his statement through the press release meant nothing as the ABVP juggernaut had continued to roll out in the premier college of the state when he was at the helm of the party-helmed government. “Can he explain why NSUI failed to cut teeth when the Congress was politically reigning supreme in the state under the stewardship of Harish Rawat? He can hardly shirk his responsibility of NSUI’s consecutive defeats in the hands of ABVP during the time when BJP was struggling its way in the state’s political scenario. It is wrong to search for scapegoats. It is better if we go all-out to woo the youth back to the Congress’s ideological moorings as a section of them is now wallowing in the bogs of the saffron sectarianism. However, maybe, he has been forced to issue the release from the hospital where he is being treated under pressure from the lobby close to him. Or the release has been sent by one of his loyalists with or without his knowledge,” the leader said while requesting anonymity.
However, observers say that Congress has reasons to go for soul-searching as the results of the student union election in many colleges in Dehradun and elsewhere in the state has confirmed the resurgence of the Congress’s student affiliate at the expense of ABVP despite BJP running the government with a mammoth majority. “It is true that the BJP leaders are more sincere and united than the Congress leaders. They do not easily yield ground and if they have to do they go the whole hog to reverse things in their favour the next time. This has happened this time too after NSUI won the presidential seat in MKP College. While the Congress leaders rushed to celebrate the BJP leaders went into a huddle with the student leaders to find out why ABVP lost. They at the same time lodged complaint of irregularity on the part of NSUI to the college’s election committee,” an observer said.