Lok Sabha Polls 2024 | Face-off: Anil Baluni vs Ganesh Godiyal

The two are contesting from Garhwal.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 15:01 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 15:01 IST

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Anil Baluni is the charge of media coordination at the party headquarters in Delhi. Considered close to the top party leadership, Baluni was a Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand, and his term ended in April. The party has asked him to contest direct elections and was given a ticket from the Garhwal by dropping its sitting MP and former CM Tirath Singh Rawat.

Baluni has in the past worked closely with SS Bhandari, a founding member of the BJP who served as the governor of Gujarat during the Vajpayee government. He returned to Uttarakhand politics to contest assembly polls from Kotdwar but lost.

Former Uttarakhand CM Maj Gen B C Khandoori has won the Garhwal seat on 5 occasions. It comprises 14 assembly segments spread across the hilly terrain and far-flung areas including Badrinath and Kedarnath.

The former Uttarakhand Congress President was initially reluctant to take the electoral plunge from Pauri. With former CM BC Khandori’s son Manish- the Congress candidate from Garhwal in the 2019 LS elections- joining BJP on the eve of the polls, not many in the party were willing to take up the challenge.

With the party insisting, Godiyal filed his nomination papers to make the Pauri election an all-Brahmin contest between him and BJP’s Baluni.

Godiyal has been a career politician who has risen the ranks in the party. The former MLA from Srinagar however lost the last assembly polls by a narrow margin.

During his campaign, Godiyal sought to make the election a contest between ‘local vs outsider’.

In terms of size, Pauri Garhwal is the biggest constituency among Uttarakhand’s 5 seats.

BJP secured more than two-thirds of the total votes cast in this seat in the 2019 elections.

Keep up with the Lok Sabha 2024 elections here

Published 18 April 2024, 15:01 IST

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