In a crucial development, former CM Harish Rawat did not feature in Congress’ first list of 53 candidates for the Uttarakhand election announced on Saturday night. As the sitting CM last time, Rawat suffered embarrassment after he lost from the Haridwar Rural and Kichha seats to his BJP opponents by a margin of 12,278 and 2,127 votes. As the party is yet to name a candidate in Haridwar Rural, speculation is rife that Rawat might be fielded from here. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Assembly Pritam Singh will contest from Chakrata where he has won 5 times in the past.
On the other hand, Uttarakhand Congress president Ganesh Godiyal has been again pitted against Minister Dhan Singh Rawat in the Srinagar constituency. From Khatima, Bhuwan Chandra Kapri will take on CM Pushkar Singh Dhami for the second consecutive time. Ex-BJP MLAs Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjeev who joined Congress on October 11, 2021, have been given a ticket from Bajpur and Nainital respectively.
However, the Sonia Gandhi-led party snubbed former BJP Minister Harak Singh Rawat by not naming him as the candidate from his constituency Kotdwar. As per sources, his daughter-in-law Anukriti Gusain is in contention to contest from the Landsdowne seat. In another development, late Congress veteran Indira Hridayesh’s son Sumit will make his poll debut in Haldwani.
The Central Election Committee of Congress has selected the following candidates for the ensuing elections to the Legislative Assembly of Uttrakhand pic.twitter.com/MaBrPnDwAH
— INC Sandesh (@INCSandesh) January 22, 2022
Election Uttarakhand election
In the 2017 Uttarakhand Assembly elections, the Harish Rawat-led Congress government lost power after BJP won 57 seats in the 70-member House. Thereafter, Trivendra Singh Rawat served as the Chief Minister of the state until 9th March, when he resigned because of a collective decision taken by the BJP top brass. His successor and Lok Sabha MP Tirath Singh Rawat’s tenure as the CM was also short-lived and was replaced by Pushkar Singh Dhami as the Election Commission was unlikely to conduct a by-election owing to the COVID-19 situation.
As per the election schedule announced by the Election Commission of India on January 8, the state will go to the polls on February 14, whereas the counting of votes shall take place on March 10. With 82,38,187 registered voters on the electoral rolls, the polling stations have been increased to 11,647. In view of the COVID-19 situation, all physical rallies and roadshows have been banned until January 15 and the polling time has been increased by 1 hour. Apart from Congress, AAP has emerged as a key opposition party in the state.