Congress favours independent who bailed out Harish Rawat govt

Congress favours independent  who bailed out Harish Rawat govt

The battle for Dhanaulti Assembly seat is rather unique. The Congress had decided to leave this seat for Pritam Singh Panwar, an independent legislator, who had bailed out the Harish Rawat government when the BJP staged an unsuccessful coup last year.

But Congress leader Manmohan Singh Mall managed to convince the party high command and has entered the fray. The BJP denied ticket to sitting legislator Mahavir Singh Rangad to favour former MLA Narayan Singh Rana, a relative of Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Rangad is said to be upset at the BJP move and decided to remain neutral, a stance perceived by many as a tacit support to the Congress.

Uttarakhand is witnessing several such rebellion making the Assembly elections a triangular fight in a state that has largely remained bipolar.

In neighbouring Mussoorie, the Congress has fielded Godavari Thapli, who had contested the 2012 election as an independent. Congress leader Jot Singh Gunsola, who was defeated by BJP leader Ganesh Joshi, has accepted Thapli’s candidature reluctantly.

In Sahaspur constituency, Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyay is facing a serious challenge from one-time compatriot Aryendra Sharma, who is contesting as an independent.

Talking to DH, Gunsola, the two-term mayor of Mussoorie admitted that rebels are posing a challenge to Congress’s official candidates across the state.

The situation is grave in the BJP, that is aspiring to dislodge the Harish Rawat government. Uttarakhand BJP chief Ajay Bhatt is facing party rebel Pramod Nainwal in the Ranikhet Assembly constituency. Bhatt may have to sweat it out literally given that he could defeat Congress’s Karan Mahara by just 78 votes in the 2012 election.

Mahara has been re-nominated by the Congress.Uttarakhand Congress leader Shilpi Arora had filed her nomination papers against Chief Minister Harish Rawat from Kichha Assembly seat but withdrew after a lot of persuasion by the party.

BJP rebels won’t affect prospects

As the BJP expelled 17 rebels for fighting against party’s official nominees, Uttarakhand party chief Ajay Bhatt said their exit will not impact prospects in polls, PTI reports from Dehradun. “Those who were over-ambitious are fighting against the party,” Bhatt said.

Taking action against the rebels who have chosen to remain in poll fray as independents despite the party’s efforts to cajole them to withdraw, the BJP has suspended as many as 17 rebels for six years.

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