Rawat’s Rajya Sabha game

November 10 2014

Uttarakhand’s Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat has emerged as a clever politician. When it came for Uttarakhand to nominate one member to the Rajya Sabha, there was a flurry of activity for the same. Rawat wanted to give this seat to his wife Renuka Rawat, but when he saw the tug-of-war within among prominent party members for the seat, he retraced his steps. The seat was being eyed by politicians such as Rajiv Shukla, Raj Babbar, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Vijay Bahuguna. Kishore Upadhayay, state party president and Rawat aide also had his eyes set on the seat and was staking a claim. But Harish Rawat turned the entire game on its head by nominating his loyalist Manorama Sharma alias Manorama Dobriyal. Manorama has been a Rawat loyalist for the past decade and has been the district mayor and president of the Zila Parishad as well. She belongs to Pauri, is a Brahmin woman and is opposed to Vijay Bahuguna. Rawat has made a dent in Reeta Bahuguna Joshi’s ambitions by forwarding Rawat; Bahuguna too is from Pauri and a Brahmin. With the same move, Rawat has also given a blow to Satpal Maharaj who left the Congress at the last moment and went with the BJP. Rawat also played a deft move in getting Sonia Gandhi to agree to Manorama’s nomination. When he was in Delhi to meet Sonia and introduce her to meet Uttarakhand’s zila parishad presidents on November 4, he put forward Manorama’s name then and there. Needless to say, it worked.

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