Seventy-eight-year old Hans Raj Bhardwaj, usually referred to by the media as an 'old Congress loyalist', has said that the UPA-I government, headed by Manmohan Singh wanted to dissolve the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi party government in Uttar Pradesh. This was in 2007 and the party was allegedly annoyed with the Yadav government's corruption.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Bhardwaj said, "Mulayam was continuously under pressure of dismissal over alleged corruption. I advised the government that his government could not be dismissed only on the ground of corruption. So long as they were in majority, they would have to be challenged on the floor of the House. But the Congress was not convinced. And this became a controversy."
He added that though Manmohan Singh was in two minds about the decision, a 'core' group of the party was for the dissolution of the UP government. Bhardwaj claims to have let his displeasure known in front of party members like Sonia (Gandhi), Pranab (Mukherjee), Shivraj Patil, Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal.
The government, as we know, wasn't dissolved.
However, it must be noted that this isn't the first time that Bhardwaj has taken potshots at the Congress. In fact, he has relentlessly criticised the Congress over the past couple of years and has not previously made a mention of this incident. Speaking to The Indian Express back in July 2015, Bhardwaj had said, "“No, they are not in a fit state of health to control this powerful campaigner who is backed by a powerful cadre. That is why there was a virtual walkover in 2014." He was referring to Modi and Congress' presence or lack thereof in several states like UP and Bihar.
An article on IBN Live notes the fact that Bhardwaj has been relentless in his attacks on his own party, doesn't surprise the Congress party itself.
DP Satish wrote in IBN Live last year, "His 'outbursts' have not shocked anybody in the Congress. According to many top Congress leaders the party has now become a sour grape for him. Bhardwaj has never been a front ranking leader of the Congress, though he claims and believes that he is one of the stalwarts of the party. A five time Member of the Parliament (all through backdoor – Rajya Sabha), he was a junior minister for Law in Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narasimharao Governments for nine years. He never contested in any direct elections and has no grassroots level support.
He was elevated to the rank of a Cabinet minister of Law and Justice by Sonia Gandhi in the Congress led UPA – 1 between 2004 and 2009. Most part of his tenure was controversial including the alleged 'let off' of main accused in the Bofors scam Ottavio Quattrochchi."
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