The return of senior leaders in Uttarakhand politics, Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjeev Arya, to Congress has brought back the narrative of a Dalit chief minister in Uttarakhand.
It came up after the appointment of Dalit leader Charanjit Singh Channi as the Chief Minister of Punjab. Reports say the Congress may use the strategy in Uttarakhand and other states.
Earlier this month, the appointment of Channi as the Punjab Chief Minister made senior Congress leader Harish Rawat give indications that the Congress could go for a Dalit chief minister in Uttarakhand, where assembly polls will be held in 2022.
Rawat was then solving political complications within the Congress in Punjab.
Arya is known as a "stalwart" and has returned to the Congress with his experience and support among people.
Rawat, the former chief minister of Uttarakhand who got the top job in the hill state after Vijay Bahuguna's exit from the post, has intensified efforts to strengthen his position in Uttarakhand.
The Congress may move to gain an electoral edge by choosing a candidate who represents the Dalit community.
Rawat comes from the Thakur community and Arya from the Dalit community. The two communities give immense electoral weight to polls in the state.
The camp of supporters with Rawat would want him to be given the chance to steer the polls for the coveted role — owing to his past experience as a chief minister.
Rawat has used tough words against those Congress leaders who had made an exit to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during his government.
Arya is reported to have had discussions with the Gandhis. Rawat is reported to have rushed to the All India Congress Committee headquarters after Arya joined the Congress.
Though the Congress has not given clear indications on its chief ministerial candidate yet, sections in the media say there is a possibility that the party may not overlook Arya and the community he represents for the 2022 state assembly polls.
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