Dehradun: The 2017 Uttarakhand Assembly polls is all set to witness the presence of friends-turned-foes and entangled relationships in the fray in many constituencies fighting each other.
Sitarganj Assembly constituency
This is a seat from where Saurabh Bahuguna, son of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, is contesting as BJP nominee. Sitarganj was the constituency which had sent Vijay Bahuguna, the then CM, to the state assembly after he became the chief minister. Now, Congress has fielded one Malti Biswas as its nominee from the same seat. This constituency has considerable population of Bengali voters. Sitarganj is Udhamsingh Nagar which has nine seats, including Kichcha from where Rawat is Congress nominee.
Sahaspur Assembly Seat
Congress Party’s state president Kishore Upadhyay is trying his luck from this seat. Kishore had contested from Tehri seat in 2012 assembly polls, but lost to one independent candidate Dinesh Dhanai. Dhanai supported the congress-supported state government. Upadhyay is now described by his opponent within Congress organization as an outsider” in this constituency. Congress leader Aryendra Sharma was in race to get his party ticket from this seat. Now, Sharma has resigned from Congress and decided to contest from this seat as an independent. BJP’s candidate is Sahdeo Pundir, who is sitting MLA from here. Aryendra had contested from this seat as Congress nominee from this seat in 2012 assembly polls.
All eyes are on Chaubattakhal seat in Pauri district. BJP has denied ticket to its sitting MLA and former state president Tirath Singh Rawat and fielded former union minister Satpal Maharaj. Congress has fielded Rajpal Singh Bisht. Efforts are on to pacify Tirath following denial of ticket to him. Tirath’s support will matter for Maharaj as Tirath is strong face in this seat. BJP is leaving no stone unturned to keep Tirath in good humour.
Congress nominee Mamta Rakesh, widow of former minister late Surendra Rakesh, is fighting battle against BJP nominee Subodh Rakesh who is her brother-in-law (Surendra’s younger brother). Mamta’s family was originally associated with BSP. After Surendra’s death, Mamata was fielded by Congress in the by-election.
Nainital Assembly Seat
Congress Party’s Sarita Arya is pitted against BJP candidate Sanjeev Arya who is son of former minister Yashpal Arya. Yashpal recently joined BJP after leaving Congress. Sarita Arya had won this seat in 2012 after defeating BJP’ Hem Chandra Arya. With presence of UKD’s Narayan Singh Jantwal, this seat is likely to witness triangular contest. Nainital is stronghold of a regional party UKD. Kedarnath assembly seat: The areas under this seat faced maximum impact of the 2013 Uttarakhand disaster. It accommodates the Kedar valley under it, Reconstruction works are still going on there. This is first election after the 2013 tragedy and thus, it will test the popularity of Rawat who claims that he has done his best to resume Kedarnath Yatra. Rawat’s problem is that sitting MLA Shailarani Rawat has left Congress and joined BJP. Now she is contesting from here as BJP nominee. Congress has fielded a young and new face Manoj Rawat from here. Manoj, who is journalist-turned-politician is banking on Rawat’s popularity in this seat.
Kichcha (Udhamsingh Nagar) and Haridwar rural (Haridwar)
CM Harish Rawat is contesting from these two seats. In Haridwar, Muslim, Thakur, and Pahadi origin Voters hold the key. BJP has bet on Swami Yateeshawaranand, sitting MLA, against Rawat. Haridwar (rural) was formed in 2012, carved out of Laldhang assembly. The presence of BSP candidate Mukkaram Ali may create trouble for Rawat in this seat. On the other hand, Kichcha has good presence of Muslim voters and it suits the candidature of Rawat here. BJP has fielded Rajesh Shukla.
Known as a hill temple town, Jageshwar is going to witness tough fight between Rawat’s close aide and speaker Govind Sigh Kunjwal and BJP’s Subhash Pandey. This seat is on the high priority of BJP camp in view of Kunjwal’s presence here.
BJP’s most prominent face Ajay Bhatt, who is party’s state president as well as leader of Opposition in the state assembly, is contesting from here. Congress has fielded Karan Mahara who is said to be close relative of Rawat.
This seat is going to witness most interesting battle of this election. Congress nominee Surendra Singh Negi and BJP nominee Harak Singh Rawat were part of Rawat government in their capacity as cabinet minister. Rawat revolted against Rawat and joined Bahuguna camp. Later, he joined BJP and became its nominee from Kotdwar. He was elected to the state assembly from Rudraprayag in 2012 polls as Congress nominee.
Updated Date: Jan 30, 2017 12:08 PM