BJP slams Harish Rawat over charges of fielding dummy candidates

Dehradun: BJP on Monday hit out at Harish Rawat for accusing it of putting up dummy candidates to mar Congress’s prospects in Uttarkhand assembly polls and said the accusation reflects the Chief Minister’s ‘awareness’ of his party’s impending defeat.

BJP also claimed that Congress’ excessive dependence on a professional poll strategist like Prashant Kishor was an act of surrender in the face of “certain electoral defeat”.

“Rawat is coming up with such wild allegations because he can hear the footfalls of his party’s approaching defeat,” BJP state unit spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan told reporters in Dehradun.

Rawat is hurling a charge like this at BJP as he knows factors like “infighting, blackmailing and groupism plaguing his party will ensure its rout at the hustings”, he said.

Rawat had accused BJP of fielding dummy candidates in the February 15 assembly polls to spoil Congress’s poll prospects. Two former MLAs had been assigned the task of looking for dummy candidates by BJP, Rawat had alleged.

Chauhan said taking the services of a professional poll manager in UP and Uttarakhand shows Congress’s lack of confidence, he said referring to the CM’s description of Kishor as ‘Chyavanprash’ or an energy booster for the party at a press conference on Sunday.

Accusing Rawat of violating the model code of conduct, Chauhan said he had issued transfer orders, awarded contracts and announced non-practising allowance for Ayurvedic doctors with retrospective effect after announcement of poll schedule for five states including Uttarakhand on January 4.

“We have documentary evidence to prove that the Chief Minister issued transfer of thousands of employees with retrospective effect besides awarding wi-fi contracts in Nainital and Mussoorie in violation of DoT guidelines after the Model Code of Conduct came into force,” the spokesman said.

He said non-practising allowance for Ayurvedic doctors was issued with retrospective effect on January 5 as there was no such order in place on January 4.