Uttarakhand: BJP's Satpal Maharaj's wife reaffirms loyalty to Congress

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Dehradun, Mar 24: Putting a lid on speculation that she might quit Congress after her husband Satpal Maharaj defected to BJP, Uttarakhand Minister Amrita Rawat on Monday reaffirmed her loyalty to the party saying she is very much in Congress and will stay there in future.

"I am in Congress and will stay where I am in the future," she announced at a press conference.

Referring to reports in a section of the media suggesting that she might follow her husband who recently joined BJP, she said there was no such possibility.

"Quitting Congress and joining BJP was Maharaj's decision not mine. Everyone in a democracy is entitled to his own views," she said.

Describing herself as a dedicated Congress worker, she said she will neither quit the party nor the cabinet and devote all her time for welfare of people of her constituency.

I am in Congress and will stay where I am in the future: Amrita Rawat

She said she will campaign for Congress nominees in the Lok Sabha polls. Ever since the Pauri MP quit Congress to join BJP, speculation was rife she might follow her husband dealing a blow to it ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

On allegations that her husband had quit as he did not want to face the voters who were disappointed with him for not visiting them as often as expected after the calamity last year, Amrita said all such charges were unfounded.

"Maharaj visited inaccessible areas in the affected region where even a young man would be scared of going. Both my sons too visited the calamity-hit areas several times and provided succour to some 20,000 affected families," she said.

Soon after Maharaj joined BJP in Delhi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had accused him of running away as people of his constituency were unhappy with him as he had not addressed their problems despite the fact that they were one of the worst hit by the June calamity.

Satpal slams Rawat for 'not' raising U'khand issues in Parliament

Pauri MP Satpal Maharaj, who recently defected to BJP, on Monday attacked Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, saying as a Union minister he had not raised even a single issue related to the state in Parliament.

Targeting Rawat, Maharaj said asked why the state government had not sent a proposal to the Centre so far seeking the inclusion of Garhwali and Kumaoni languages into the eighth schedule of the Constitution.

Maharaj claimed at a time when he stood for upgradation of Kumaoni and Garhwali as state languages in the Lower House, the present CM of the state maintained they were not languages but local dialects.

"This reflects his (Rawat's) thinking about Uttarakhand," the Pauri MP said and sought to know what he did for the hill state as a Union minister and how many development projects did he bring for it.

"Where was Rawat when the state was grappling with the effects of an unprecedented deluge. Instead of doing something for the affected people he remained busy finding fault with the then government in the state.

PTI

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