Modi wave swallows Uttarakhand as well

Modi wave swallows Uttarakhand as well

Riding the Modi wave, the BJP on Saturday swept to power in Uttarakhand by winning a three-fourth majority in the 70-member Assembly, trouncing Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

Rawat lost from both the seats he had contested.The BJP won 56 seats, in what is considered to be a historic, one-sided victory in a state where the party had not projected a chief ministerial face and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had carried out a whirlwind campaign, hard-selling decisions of demonetisation and ‘one-rank, one-pension’. Counting was still going on in one Assembly seat.

According to the Election Commission data, the BJP garnered 46.5% of the votes, while the Congress managed to get 33.5% votes. The BSP, which had emerged kingmaker in the previous three Assembly elections, got 7% votes, but failed to open its account.

The Congress suffered a rout in the state where Chief Minister Rawat and party chief Kishor Upadhyay lost the elections to the BJP. Rawat lost the Haridwar Rural seat to BJP’s Yatishwaranand by a margin of 12,278 votes. He also lost the Kichha seat to the BJP's Rajesh Shukla.

Upadhyay lost to Sahadev Singh Pundir of the BJP by a margin of 18,863 votes. Infighting within the Congress also contributed to his defeat as party rebel Aryendra Sharma had polled 21,888 votes.

“I own up my failure to rise up to the expectations of my party workers who had worked very hard despite lack of resources,” Chief Minister Harish Rawat said in Dehradun after submitting his resignation to Governor K K Paul.

Celebrations broke out at the BJP office in Dehradun as the results indicated a massive victory with senior leaders getting into the process of selecting the chief minister.

The BJP Parliamentary Party is expected to meet here on Sunday. Names of Satpal Maharaj, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Prakash Pant are doing the rounds as the probable chief ministerial candidates.

Ten out of the 12 Congress leaders, who had joined the BJP ahead of the elections, emerged victorious. Among the next generation leaders, Ritu Khanduri, the daughter of former chief minister B C Khanduri, won from Yamkeshwar, while Saurabh Bahuguna, the son of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, won from Sitarganj.

The Congress had launched a spirited campaign against the BJP which highlighted the failed attempts to topple the Harish Rawat government last year by triggering mass defections.

However, voters appeared mesmerised by Modi’s “strong leadership” reflected in the decision to demonetise high-value currency and the ‘one-rank, one-pension’ initiative, a long standing demand of the ex-servicemen community.


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