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Ghost of U’khand police horse haunts BJP

Statesman News Service | Dehradun |

The ghost of Uttarakhand police horse Shaktiman, which suffered injuries during a Bharatiya Janata Party rally and died during treatment, continues to haunt the saffron brigade. To ensure that no such unfortunate incident take place during party’s Parivartan Yatra, starting from November 13, the BJP conducted a special ‘puja’ of the venue ground in Dehradun on Friday. 
Uttarakhand BJP termed it a routine ‘Puja’ before hosting any big political rally. But many other BJP members connected it with the sad Shaktiman incident which had robbed all the sheen of the party protest rally hosted earlier this year. 
BJP state chief Ajay Bhatt attended the ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ at the Bannu School ground in Dehradun.
In March this year, the BJP had started their protest rally against the Harish Rawat government from the same ground. Uttarakhand police horse Shaktiman leg got fractured during the BJP rally and it turned into a big political issue.
The Congress tried to take some political advantage, but it turned auspicious for them with 10 party MLAs revolting against Chief Minister Harish Rawat. It was followed by president rule implemented in Uttarakhand. 
After the revolt and political drama faced, Rawat decided not to touch the Shaktiman issue in any way. As he too became suspicious that it brings bad luck, there were plans to erect a statue of the police horse near the state assembly, even that the Uttarakhand chief minister cancelled at the last minute.
Uttarakhand BJP chief Ajay Bhatt said, “The ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ is held for successful conduct of any event. Last time the rally had to suffer due to the Shaktiman issue.”
Uttarakhand BJP claimed that as BJP chief Amit Shah is to kick-off the Parivartan rally in Dehradun on November 13, so the ritual was performed. 
Uttarakhand police horse Shaktiman was on duty during the BJP protest rally on March 14 this year. Media coverage hungry BJP leader and Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi took up a stick and posed like beating the animal. The horse suffered fracture later, when the leg of Shaktiman got stuck with an iron grill. 
But, Ganesh Joshi was blamed for the act due to his aggressive behaviour. The Mussoorie MLA managed to produce a video footage in his defense, showing the actual cause of the fracture, to come out of the controversy.