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Uttarakhand Election 2017 LIVE: SP, Congress trying to deceive the people, says Narendra Modi

With 51 candidates withdrawing from the fray on the last day for withdrawal of nominations, the chessboard for the 15 February Assembly polls in Uttarakhand is laid out where the ruling Congress and opposition BJP appear to be locked in a straight contest in a majority of total 70 seats.

FP Politics February 12, 2017 12:36:39 IST
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Uttarakhand Election 2017 LIVE: SP, Congress trying to deceive the people, says Narendra Modi

Highlights

13:04 (ist)

Uttarakhand elections: Six illiterate candidates, 40 percent undergraduates

According to a report in The Times of India, six candidates contesting elections in Uttarakhand are illiterate, while 40 percent of all contestants have admitted to have not completed Class XII. This is particularly relevant since neighbouring state of Haryana had recently passed a law mandating only those with a "minimum qualification" will be eligible to contest Panchayat polls.

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Feb 15, 2017 - 18:52 (IST)

'Peaceful' polling concludes in Uttarakhand

Feb 15, 2017 - 18:42 (IST)

Uttarkashi takes the lead in voter turnout

Uttarakhand registered 68 percent polling by 5 o'clock in the evening on Wednesday. Among the regions of the state, Uttarkashi has taken the lead in people's participation, with over 73 percent of its electorate registering their votes.

US Nagar, Haridwar and Nainital stood second, with 70 percent turnout each, while Dehradun saw 67 percent, Rudraprayag saw 63 percent, and Pithoragarh, Pauri and Tehri saw 60 percent polling each. Bageshwar, Champawat and Almora registered 62 percent voting, while Chamoli saw 61 percent turnout.

Feb 15, 2017 - 17:31 (IST)

Second part of the interview with Satish Balodi, author, poet and writer of books from Uttarakhand

Feb 15, 2017 - 16:14 (IST)

Here's an interview with Satish Balodi, author, poet and writer of books from Uttarakhand

Feb 15, 2017 - 16:11 (IST)

Congress party offices wear a deserted look

On polling day in Dehradun, the Congress party's state office on Rajpur Road wore a deserted look. Only a few party workers were present there. Some were unhappy with Team PK (Prashant Kishore, Congress party’s election strategist), which continues to manages the party's campaign in Uttarakhand. Team PK is functioning from a different place in the city, and Congress workers have complained that there is little coordination between the state office and Team PK on polling day.

"The team should have preferred its base on the party office premises,” said a worker on condition of anonymity. According to him, workers have little role to play on the polling day in the party office. Chambers of party functionaries were also vacant on polling day.

Feb 15, 2017 - 15:46 (IST)

53 percent turnout by 3 pm

Feb 15, 2017 - 15:23 (IST)

Polls could script a new chapter 

Driving through Haridwar to Dehradun one gets the feeling that election here is keenly contested. This is one of the few region where the grand electorate festival called election can be sensed through presence of big banners and hoardings. Plain to hill presents its own story. There have always been a divide between plain and hills in state of Uttrakhand and a latent tension between the residents and leaders of two regions have always been there.

In this incumbent chief minister Harish Rawat decided not to contest election from any of the hill region constituency and chose to create history by becoming first political leader of significance to contest from two constituencies. That too, both from plain - Kichcha in Terai region and from Hardwar (rural). Its important to note that when he had become chief minister he had got a seat vacated to contest from other extreme of hill region, Pithoragarh, a place closer to China border than Dehradun.

Out of a total of 70 seats in Uttrakhand assembly 30 seats of Uttrakhand assembly are from plain regions - Udham Singh Nagar 9, Hardwar 11 and Dehradun 10.

In last 2012 assembly election the BJP had done better in plain and Congress had done better in hills. Today's polls could script a new chapter.

Feb 15, 2017 - 15:23 (IST)

Problem of plenty

Uttarakhand polls present an interesting situation where the incumbent chief minister Harish Rawat is on one side, the Congress and all six former chief ministers Nityanand Swami, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, ND Tiwari, BC Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Vijay Bahuguna are on BJP's side.

Interestingly of all these names, present and ex only Harish Rawat is contesting assembly election. But then there is a history in Uttrakhand that chief minister has been imposed from above, a person who did not contest assembly election to begin with.

The two ex-Congress chief ministers ND Tiwari and Vijay Bahuguna to the BJP mean the party now has a good mix of prominent Brahmin and Rajpur faces. Bramin and Rajput are the two castes which matter most in hills.

On surface of it the BJP has an advantage in caste combination, presence of good number of prominent leaders and on such other things that could impact voter preferences but if it comes to power the party leadership will have a tough time in choosing its leader in the state.

Feb 15, 2017 - 14:35 (IST)

Feb 15, 2017 - 14:19 (IST)

Firstpost speaks to Rajni Rawat

Rajni Rawat is a transgender candidate fighting election in Uttarakhand. 

With 51 candidates pulling out of the fray on deadline day for withdrawal of nominations, the chessboard for the 15 February Assembly polls in Uttarakhand is laid out, where the ruling Congress and opposition BJP appear to be locked in a straight contest in the 70-seat Assembly.

Uttarakhand Election 2017 LIVE SP Congress trying to deceive the people says Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI file image

Congress and BJP, the two poles between whom power has oscillated since the state's creation in 2000, are once again poised to take on each other in a straight fight in most seats, with a couple of exceptions like Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar, districts where BSP could be a strong player. Miffed over denial of tickets by their respective parties, quite a few strong leaders from both sides have thrown their hats into the ring as independents, making the contest interesting in nearly 18 seats.

While 11 former Congress MLAs are in the fray this time as BJP nominees, Congress has also fielded three former BJP MLAs. A further three former BJP MLAs are contesting as independents. Both parties enjoy statewide support, and have fielded candidates from all 70 seats. However, Congress has decided to back independent candidate Pritam Singh Panwar from Dhanaulti after fielding Manmohan Mall as the party's official nominee from the seat where he continues to be in the fray.

BJP has also expelled 18 rebels, after they refused to withdraw in favour of party's official nominees, while the number of Congress rebels expelled by the party for defiance is 24. The presence of rebel candidates in the fray may make the fight in at least one-and-a-half dozen seats interesting, as they have the potential to become part of the main contest or dent the votes of the party they have broken with and influence the results.

A total of 12 sitting MLAs who had won on a Congress ticket in the 2012 Assembly polls joined BJP since the start of the political crisis in Uttarakhand in March last year. Almost all of these have been fielded by BJP except Vijay Bahuguna whose son Saurabh has been fielded from his father's seat Sitarganj. People will definitely watch out for what happens in these seats as well as Haridwar rural and Kichcha Beng contested by chief minister Harish Rawat.

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