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BJP unveils nationalism pitch in Uttarakhand, late CDS’ brother joins party

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 19

The ruling BJP on Wednesday unveiled its nationalism pitch in election-bound Uttarakhand with the brother of late Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat joining the party in the presence of state chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and other senior leaders.

Col Vijay Rawat (Retd), 60, served the Indian Army for 34 years and hails from a family whose three generations have served in the Armed Forces.

Col Rawat’s son is currently a serving Captain in Gorkha Rifles from where India’s first CDS Gen Bipin Rawat began his illustrious military career.

Welcoming Col Rawat into the BJP, Dhami saluted the services of India’s first CDS who, along with his wife and 11 others, died in a military chopper crash on December 9, 2021.

“I welcome Col Rawat who hails from the family of patriots. Late CDS Rawat was the pride of the country. He always worked for the welfare of Uttarakhand. I am happy to welcome Col Rawat into the BJP and am so because I am also the son of a soldier and have great affections for CDS Rawat whose demise left a deep vacuum in our lives. Today when Col Vijay Rawat is joining the BJP, he will take the ideals of his elder brother forward,” said Dhami, adding that the ruling BJP under prime minister Narendra Modi had always honoured soldiers and was the only party that would continue to honour Armed Forces personnel.

Dhami mentioned the implementation of One Rank One Pension scheme under the BJP rule to make his point.

The upcoming single-phase Uttarakhand elections on February 14 will mainly witness a direct clash between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress with Aam Aadmi Party also in the fray. The BJP currently holds 57 seats in the 70 member state assembly and the Congress has 11. Uttrakhand, created in 2000, has witnessed massive political unpheavels in 22 years of its existence, four assembly elections, 11 chief ministers and alternating governments.

Col Rawat in his brief remarks after acceptance of the BJP”s primary membership, said his father, after retiring from the Forces, worked with the BJP since the formation of the state of Uttrakhand.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join the BJP. My father was with BJP when Uttrakhand was formed. He had then retired and worked with the party. Now I have been afforded the same opportunity after my retirement. The vision of PM Modi, his out of the box thinking; policies and actions aimed at the advancement of India, have inspired my decision,” Col Vijay Rawat said.

He hailed the leadership of Dhami, the third chief minister the BJP appointed in Uttrakhand in five years after Trivendra Rawat and Tirath Singh Rawat.

Col Rawat cited BJP’s welfare and economic policies to say that the PM was working to enhance India’s image in the world and his policies were executed after deep discussion and thought.

Born in Dehradun on July 4, 1962, Col Vijay Rawat served in Sikkim, Rajasthan and Kashmir.

The joining took place today in the presence of Dhami, BJP general secretary in charge of Uttarakhand Dushyant Gautam and state unit president Madan Kaushik.

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