New Delhi: Indicating further trouble for the Congress in Uttarakhand, the simmering rift between state party chief Kishore Upadhyay and Chief Minister Harish Rawat came out in the open with the former on Wednesday asking Rawat to respect "ministers, MLAs and district leaders" and meet them regularly.
"The Chief Minister should respect and give time to each and every party worker. Every Congress karyakarta (worker) should be respected," Upadhyay told IANS.
He said: "When President's Rule was imposed in the state, every Congress worker took to the streets to protest against this. Now that the government has been restored, the Chief Minister should at least meet his workers and respect their sentiments.
"The Chief Minister should give time and meet the district presidents, his ministers and the MLAs," he added.
Upadhyay had earlier said that Congress in the state would "meet the same fate as the UPA government" if the "rulers of the state" ignore the party workers.
Meanwhile, at the Congress party headquarters, a senior Congress leader sought to downplay the reported conflict between Rawat and the pradesh Congress chief. "It is a fight between Harish Rawat and the state Congress president and High Command has nothing to do with it."
Congress is facing similar dissension in other states too. Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi floated a new party two days ago.
Six Congress legislators on Tuesday joined the Trinamool Congress in Tripura, pushing the until now main opposition party in the state assembly to third spot.
In another setback to the Congress, former union minister and five-time MP from Mumbai Gurudas Kamat announced he was quitting the party and the political arena.
In the northeastern state of Meghalaya too, there is strong resentment among the Congress MLAs over continuation of Mukul Sangma as chief minister.