New Delhi, 21 Jun 2009
Dogged by dissidence since assuming the top post two years ago, Uttarakhand CM BC Khanduri is again facing rebellion from BS Koshiyari in the wake of Lok Sabha washout. But he tells TOI he will not stop working just because some people want him to.
Q: A permanent state of war against you?
A: It is unfortunate that some people have been destabilizing the government since day one. It is harming all — the party, state and its development. While I have succeeded in generating confidence among people, attention has got diverted from governance. It is not good.
Q: Reason for dissidence against you?
A: Maybe I moved too fast against corruption and administrative anarchy; too fast for people to adjust. In two years, we rekindled hope among people but it also hit vested interests. Like to end hefty entrance money in private BEd colleges, I added 3,000 seats in government institutions. Land prices were shooting up, there was a racket, we set it right. The liquor policy was made foolproof. So, some business lobbies were hurt. We tread on a few toes which led to problems.
Q: But the revolt is from within.
A: When people get hurt, they look for political power, try to find sources to put their views across.
Q: Rebels resent your style of functioning, that you are non-political.
A: It has become an excuse to justify selfish motives. Everyone has a style based on his background and I was in army. Non-army men like Jagmohan were go-getters but nobody called him an `armywallah’. The description `fauji style’ has been misused by those who cannot find any fault in me. If I am non-political, how have I been winning polls. I have won four LS polls between 1991 and 2004.
Q: One criticism is that you were made CM without support among MLAs?
A: That is not the issue. Even the first interim CM (Nityanand Swami), when there were only 20-odd MLAs, was not allowed to work. By the way, when observers came after LS polls last month, 24 MLAs wrote in my favour. All these charges (style, lack of support) are excuses by few people to justify their weak case.
Q: How assured are you after this bout of rebellion?
A: I am facing this since day one. But I do my work. Even after LS defeat, I could have kept quiet but I have declared six new schemes. Such instability does hamper work but I will not stop working. The leadership will decide what is to be done. But I have not been told anything which means I should stop working.
Q: Has a perpetually unstable Uttarakhand joined the list of failed small states?
A: It has become a feature of our state. The interim government saw instability. But even the first full-fledged government (ND Tiwari) was not immune to it. It started hurtling towards being a failed state. I have tried to stop the drift with a vision to make it the best state in the country.