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Uttarakhand Samiti gives up boycott plan

From Our Staff Reporter (The Hindu)
DEHRA DUN, Aug 21, 1996

The Uttarakhand Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti (USSS) has withdrawn its poll boycott call following the Prime Minister’s Independence Day announcement on Uttarakhand.

Announcing this after a closed door meeting of the USSS at Rishikesh, Mr. Indramani Badoni, Mr. Kashi Singh Airi and Mr. Ranjit Singh Verma (all ex-MLAs) said that a high-level committee had been formed to interact with the Centre on the modalities of forming the new State.

The leaders have also contacted the former High Court judge, Mr. Vijay Bahuguna, and others for a formal opinion on constitutional matters, it was told.

Mr. Ranjit Singh Verma and others will be contacting the Union Home Minister and other concerned authorities next week to urge them not to hold elections to the 19 Assembly seats in the hills as the MLAs who would be thus elected would not have any legal standing either in Lucknow or in the new State’s Assembly. However, if the constitution required elections to be held in this region, the USSS will decide later whether to contest the polls in league with the United Front or independently.

USSS leaders feel that the new State should have at least 75 Assembly constituencies. This would require delimitation of the existing constituencies – a task which will take at least six months. Similarly, the leaders feel as it will require at least four years for the proposed capital at Gairsen to have the necessary infrastructure, the Uttarakhand secretariats at Dehra Dun and Naini Tal could function as the seats of the government before finally being shifted to Gairsen.