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Dehradun, August 19
Describing the Vijay Bahuguna government as weak, Khanpur Congress MLA and state Forest Development Corporation Chairman Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion has put question mark on his very own party’s government, asserting that bureaucracy was at the helm of affairs in the state.
Champion, who just a few days back returned from London Olympics, claimed that he had stood as the fittest Sports Minister of the state, keeping in view his sports background.
Addressing a press conference in Dehradun, Champion today said the Congress government in the state was weak. Citing example, he said despite his repeated pleas to the state Chief Secretary to take up the issue of renewal of the permission for quarrying in the Gola, the Kosi, the Dabka and the Sharda with the Centre, little efforts had been made by the former. That’s why, he said, he was forced to take up the issue with Union Environment and Forest Minister Jayanti Natarajan.
He pointed out that even as the chairman of the state Forest Development Corporation, he was just a titular head of the corporation as the real powers vested in the bureaucrats like the General Manager and Managing Director.
Referring to the recent transfers in the state Forest Development Corporation, he said it was done at the behest of the General Manager without his consent by the virtue of power vested in the GM. “I have now taken up the matter with the Chief Minister and asked him to bring a cabinet note so that the State Forest Development Corporation Chairman could be bestowed with executive, finance and administrative powers,” said Champion, adding that he would not even hesitate to bring private member bill in this regard.
On his recent visit to London Olympics, Champion categorically held that he had gone with his family to the event on his own and had incurred his own expenses. “I have been a nationally acclaimed sportsperson and was most qualified to represent Uttarakhand in the Olympics, but the state government preferred the Sports Minister who neither had sports background nor seemed to be interested in sports,” he said. He said he could have been an excellent Sports Minister had he not been sidelined when the Cabinet was formed.
Responding to queries, Champion said he would also shortly seek audience with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and put forward his grievances.
During the press conference, he said he had been winning from the Khanpur Assembly constituency on his own with little support from the Congress.


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