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A wave of discontent

Frontline, Volume 19 – Issue 04, Feb. 16 – Mar. 1, 2002

IF the general public perception and mood are any guide, the Bharatiya Janata Party is in serious trouble in Uttaranchal, which will have its first Assembly polls on February 14. The public mood is decidedly against the ruling party and is veering towards the Congress, which the hill people had dumped in electoral terms in 1989 and ignored since then. The reasons for this change are not far to seek. Non-performance by the BJP government, which took the reins after the creation of the State over a year ago, has left people thoroughly disappointed.

In village after village it is the same story – incompetence and corruption of and non-performance by BJP functionaries and government officials. “We rejected the Congress in favour of the BJP in 1989 because the Congress stand on the creation of a new State was ambiguous. We wholeheartedly supported the BJP, but what have we got in return? Only promises that have not been fulfilled, not even when there was the chance to fulfil them,” said R.S. Rawat from Pauri Garhwal, who was until recently a government official. He resigned from service because he was disappointed with the BJP government and its policies and joined the Congress. “We were fooled by the BJP from 1989 to 2002. Now is the time for us to settle scores,” he said, even as those surrounding him nodded in agreement. [more]