Harish Rawat must be the most relieved man among the Congress leaders now. When the entire leadership of the party moves from one crisis to another, here is a Congress leader heaving a sigh of relief after months of political uncertainties. Now he is the unquestioned leader of Congress at the hill state.
He had exposed the nine members of legislative members who deserted his party to align with BJP. Remember this was the same man to whom the Congress high command asked to step down after the rebel issue became acute. He hanged around. And when nine MLAs left and aligned with BJP, it seemed everything was lost, not just for Congress, but for Harish Rawat as well.
But for BJP leadership’s ill advised move, Harish Rawat might have been forced to step down under the political pressure of the rebels. That was the situation few months ago when Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh Rawat started rebelling against Harish Rawat government. His style of functioning was criticised a lot. Senior party leaders complained to the high command that continuing with Harish Rawat would lead to situation where Congress will lose one more state. But Rawat by hook or crook continued as the Chief Minister.
When nine MLAs deserted the party, all observers thought the BJP national leadership’s cunning approach is going to bear fruit. Speaker’s decision to disqualify the rebels was seen only as an temporary method to prevent the unpreventable.
BJP was in a hurry. And that turned tables for Rawat. The dismissal of the Government attracted huge criticism from several quarters. It also helped to create a political atmosphere where Rawat would be made as a victim of the high handed approach of the Modi government. Uttarakkhand High Court’s order quashing the President rule brought smile back on Rawat’s face. It of course was short lived.
Though the Supreme Court stayed the verdict of HC, it was asking uncomfortable questions for which the central government did not have reasonable answers. The rest, as the saying goes is history. A cornered Centre agrees to have floor test. Supreme court overseas the entire proceedings. In addition, the decision of the Supreme Court not allowing the rebel MLAs to vote sealed the fate of the BJP’s clandestine operation.
Now Harish Rawat is standing tall. The misdoings of some of the rebel MLAs coupled with the misdemeanor of the Central Government and BJP have helped him survive. He can rule the rest of the term with an image of a fighter who successfully defeated the BJP machinations. Above all he will have a relatively peaceful days bereft of any rebel disturbances in near future. For this he must be thanking his rebels who got exposed and the wrong moves of the BJP.