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Hills of despair

An inner-party revolt against Chief Minister Nityanand Swamy and the people’s disenchantment with the government have made the going tough for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttaranchal.

In Dehra Dun

IF the elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly are a “real test” for the Bharatiya Janata Party, so are the Uttaranchal elections. The party may find it difficult to retain the power that it got on a platter in the newly created State on November 9, 2000. Even as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) J.M. Lyngdoh sounded the bugle for the first-ever elections to the Assembly of the hilly State, the clamour seeking the replacement of Chief Minister Nityanand Swamy reached a crescendo in the State unit of the BJP. Those who have raised the demand say that the party would face a rout if it went to the polls under the “uninspiring leadership” of Nityanand Swamy. “Swamyji has to go. Somebody from amongst us, from the hills, should replace him,” said a senior BJP functionary at the party office in Dehra Dun. [more]