Expelled Uttarakhand BJP leader Harak Singh Rawat broke down on camera today as he accused the ruling party of removing him without speaking to him. He also predicted a Congress victory in the state election next month, amid reports that he is set to return to his former party.
“They (BJP) didn’t talk to me once before taking such a big decision. If I hadn’t left Congress to join BJP, I would have resigned from the BJP four years ago. I don’t have much interest in being a minister, I just wanted to work,” Harak Singh Rawat told news agency ANI.
“Now I will talk to the Congress and work for the Congress,” he declared, denying that he was already in talks with the party.
Mr Rawat said he had been called for a meeting to Delhi and was delayed by “traffic”. Before he could meet the BJP leadership, the news emerged, he claimed.
“Union Minister Pralhad Joshi called me to meet in Delhi, due to traffic there was a bit of delay. I wanted to meet him and Home Minister Amit Shah, but as soon as I reached Delhi, I saw on social media that they (BJP) expelled me,” Mr Rawat said, pausing to wipe his tears and drink water.
Mr Rawat was sacked and expelled late last night for “anti-party activities”, just weeks before the Uttarakhand election, after more than a month of internal wrangling.
Reports emerged a little before midnight that Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami had written to the Governor that Mr Rawat had been removed from the cabinet.
Mr Dhami accused Mr Rawat of lobbying for his family members.
“Harak Singh Rawat was putting pressure on the party (seeking party tickets) for his family members but we have a different policy. Only one member of a family will be given a party ticket for elections,” the Chief Minister said.
Late last month, the Chief Minister had tweeted a picture with Mr Rawat at his home for dinner in an attempt to end the speculation about a feud.
Elections in Uttarakhand will be held on February 14. The results of polls in five states will be declared on March 10.
Mr Rawat led a rebellion against the Harish Rawat-led Congress government in 2016 and crossed over to the BJP with nine MLAs. Reports suggest he is in talks to rejoin the Congress but Harish Rawat is not in favour of taking back the man who revolted against him.