Yashpal Arya News: PM Modi’s double engine experiment has failed in Uttarakhand; LoP Pritam Singh after Yashpal Arya joins Congress | India News

In a major jolt to the BJP, Uttarakhand transport minister Yashpal Arya quit the party and rejoined the Congress along with his MLA son from Nainital Sanjiv Arya at All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. The development comes about four months ahead of the assembly election in the state. Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and leader of opposition (LoP) in the Uttarakhand assembly Pritam Singh, who was also present at AICC when six-time MLA Yashpal Arya joined the party, spoke with TOI on several issues related to the state politics. Excerpts:
How advantageous is Yashpal Arya’s ‘ghar wapasi’ (home-coming) for the Congress?
Yashpal Arya was with the Congress for 40 years before he joined the BJP in 2017 due to personal reasons. During his stay in the Congress earlier, he was an MLA for several terms, speaker of the assembly, minister and Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee (UKPCC) president. However, he felt suffocated and uncomfortable in the BJP in the last four-and-a-half years. He has once again reposed faith in the leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Under their leadership, he will work for the party’s victory in the 2022 assembly election.
Do you mean to say Yashpal Arya could not work even as a minister during his stay in the BJP?
Had he worked freely and efficiently during his stint as a minister in the BJP government, he would not have come back to the Congress. He was not able to work there and he felt uneasy. The Congress would benefit from his return to the party fold.
The BJP would label Arya’s going back to the Congress as sheer opportunism.
The BJP does not ask this question if an opposition leader joins them. But if their leaders join the Congress, they call them opportunists. The BJP has no moral right to speak about their leaders joining the Congress because they are known for toppling Congress governments using money and power – be it in Goa, Manipur, Karnataka or Madhya Pradesh. The BJP’s “chaal-charitra-chehra” stands unmasked before the people.
How many BJP MLAs have joined in the recent times and how many more are likely to do so before the assembly election?
Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjiv Arya are the first two sitting BJP MLAs to join the Congress. However, in the near future many more of their MLAs and senior leaders will join the Congress. They are in touch with us.
What are the issues which the Congress would go to the electorate with?
While campaigning for the 2017 assembly election in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders had talked about the advantages of “double engine governments” at the Centre and in the state. Their experiment about double engine government has failed. They had promised waiver of loans of the farmers and doubling of their income. Instead of these, the Centre brought the three black farm laws. They had promised employment to the youth but young people are struggling to get jobs. Inflation is breaking records. One LPG gas cylinder is being sold for Rs 1,000 while petrol and diesel have crossed the Rs 100 mark. The developmental works in the state have come to a standstill in the last over four years. The BJP had promised a corruption-free government but did not appoint a Lokayukta in these years. Everyone knows how the BJP governments messed up Covid management and the fake testing during Kumbh in Haridwar.
What do you have to say about Uttarakhand seeing three BJP chief ministers – Trivendra Singh Rawat, Tirath Singh Rawat and Pushkar Singh Dhami – in four years?
It is highly unfortunate that the BJP changed CMs despite the party winning a majority in the 2017 assembly election. It shows the instability inherent in the BJP government. Uttarakhand has been made a political laboratory by the BJP.
Who will be the Congress’s chief ministerial candidate for the forthcoming state poll?
Harish Rawat is the chairperson of the Uttarakhand Congress campaign committee, I am the leader of opposition in the state assembly and Ganesh Godiyal is the UKPCC president. We are jointly leading the campaign. The national leadership and the elected MLAs will decide their leader after the 2022 assembly election.

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