Congress should break tradition, project chief ministerial candidate to counter BJP: Harish Rawat

NEW DELHI: Congress general secretary and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has opened a new debate for the party that the Congress should declare the chief ministerial candidate in the assembly elections as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fight elections in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi neutralising the anti-incumbency factor.

“BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have made PM Modi the face of Hindutva. The BJP has been fighting the elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Municipality level to MLA and the party does not announce the chief ministerial candidate before the polls, thereby affecting voters and people forgetting local issues,” he said.

Reiterating the fact that the elections should be fought by projecting a chief ministerial face, he said, “This practice of contesting elections with collective leadership without a face has to be changed, there was a time when Congress had so many chief ministers and party used to go with their leadership and where there was no leadership of chief minister, the party used to go with collective leadership now the traditional practice has to be changed as the time and scenario has been also changed.”

Rawat said that to counter BJP, Congress should declare a face at the local level so that the elections are held on local issues and the Congress can get the upper hand.

He said that he wants this issue should be discussed in the party meetings therefore he is publicly giving his opinion.

On being asked whether the party will listen to his views he said “I am just giving suggestions it’s not compulsory to adopt it, but it has been seen in recent elections in Haryana as well where the party projected the face that party has performed better”.

He also gave an example of Bihar and said UPA (United Progressive Alliance) projected Tejashwi Yadav and we were almost through in the contest.

Rawat, who had raised this a few months ago and said, “My demand for declaring a face for the polls must not be seen as a personal aspiration,” adding that he will stand behind whosoever will be made a chief ministerial candidate in the state.