With former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat gaining strength in party affairs following his nomination to the Congress Working Committee, factionalism in the Congress has come out in the open with some sections working against state chief Preetam Singh.

The matter came to light recently when newly-appointed in-charge of Uttarakhand, Anugrah Narayan Singh, was scheduled to visit the party headquarters in Dehradun and Preetam Singh had appealed to the workers to show up in large numbers. 

However, his predecessor Kishore Upadhyay said that it would be possible for everyone to attend the programme only when it is declared as a party event. Otherwise, he added, it would be difficult for the workers as going to another faction’s programme could annoy many.

"This event is like hot boiling milk for us which we can neither drink nor throw," Upadhyay stated.

Later on, in the evening, when Rawat reached the party headquarters, Preetam Singh was there but Upadhyay was nowhere to be seen.

Ever since Congress president Rahul Gandhi made Rawat a member of the Congress Working Committee in the capacity of national general secretary, and made him in-charge of Assam, his stature in the party has gone up.

Rawat was considered to be out of contention in the party's scheme of things in Uttarakhand after his government was defeated badly by the BJP last year.

The rise of Rawat is being seen as a major threat to Preetam Singh, who has been working hard to regain the lost ground in the state.

With inputs from Rakesh Chandra