Holi turns political in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun: Under the celebration of Holi in this hill state lay an undercurrent of political uncertainty, which was evident from greetings, whether they were exchanged between ordinary people or politicians, who greeted each other apparently to garner support to form a new government.

Former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank went to Raj Bhavan to greet Governor Margaret Alva apparently to seek her blessings for the formation of new government. "I have come for Holi only," said Nishank without elaborating anything.

Several top leaders from both Congress and the ruling BJP greeted leaders of BSP, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) and some independents to seek their support, political sources said. "People usually greet each other on the occasion of Holi. I can`t say more than that," said PCC chief Yashpal Arya.

However, most of the newly elected Independents remained incommunicado. But Harish Durgapal, an Independent from Lal Kuan, said he has received greetings from leaders of Congress. "It is Holi and we get greetings," he said.

Trivendra Singh Panwar, president of UKD which has one MLA, also greeted the people on Holi and said the party would like to see the revival of all those issues for which the party was created. "Be it the issue of permanent capital or issues related to water, jungles and land, we will see to it that there should be wider acceptance of these issues," said Panwar.

Having fallen short of majority, rival contenders for power Congress and BJP are putting efforts to rope in potential allies to form a government. While Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 32 seats in the 70-member House, BJP finished one less seat in a cliff-hanger contest for the state assembly polls.