Dehradun, Feb 8 (PTI) BJP today claimed that top Congress leaders are not campaigning in Uttarakhand as they don’t want to own up responsibility for the poll debacle awaiting the party in the state.

“Congress in Uttarakhand is virtually left with only Harish Rawat and PK (Prashant Kishore). None of the top party leaders are coming to the state as they are aware of the party’s imminent rout here.

“(Congress Vice President) Rahul Gandhi is not coming here as he does not want to own up responsibility for the huge defeat awaiting the party,” BJP national spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters here after addressing a string of rallies in the state.

Claiming that the turnout at his rallies, consisting also of minorities in large numbers, since yesterday in the state was impressive, he said the writing on the wall in Uttarakhand is clear as daylight.

“People here have made up their mind about voting out this government which has failed to deliver,” he said.

Noting that members of the Nehru-Gandhi family were conspicuously missing from Congress’s posters in the state, he said their absence from the campaign shows they have accepted defeat and do not want to carry its load on their head.

Claiming that there are hardly one thousand people at Congress’ rallies, the BJP leader said it was the reason that Rahul was often being seen with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his rallies in Uttar Pradesh because he cannot pull the crowds on his own strength.

Describing Uttarakhand as the land of people who guard the country’s frontiers, Hussain said once voted to power BJP will not allow its development to take a backseat.

When asked why the party did not field any candidates from the minority community in the state, he said religion is never the basis of any decision taken by the party.

“Some people may not have got tickets to contest the polls but that does not mean they were ignored because of their religion. BJP never takes any decision on the basis of religion,” he said.

He said the record of being appointed the youngest Cabinet minister at the age of 32 stands in his name.

Asked why the party had chosen not to project anyone as its chief ministerial candidate, he said it was not a problem for BJP as it has galaxy of leaders in the state to choose from in the state.

“Deciding a chief minister is not a problem for us. We have a galaxy of leaders in Uttarakhand who fit the bill. When we are elected to power, the party’s parliamentary board will take a call as it did in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.