Contenders galore for BJP and Cong from U’khand Parliamentary seats
Multiple contenders for all the five parliamentary constituencies from both BJP and Congress have made the task challenging for the central leadership of these parties. The state units of the both the BJP and the Congress have sent panels comprising many names to their respective party high commands to zero in.
The ruling BJP with plethora of leaders is facing the problem of plenty more than the Congress which was left weak in the State following defection of many of its leaders to the saffron camp over the past few years.
It is interesting to note that two leaders-Saket Bahuguna, son of former CM Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh Rawat who contested on Congress ticket from Tehri and Garhwal Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections of 2014 respectively are now in the saffron camp. Bereft of leaders, the Congress is planning to field its top leaders at the hustings so as to give BJP run for its money.
The party is aiming to revive its old groundswell of support among the electorate, hoping to repeat its 2009 feat when it had bagged all the five seats.
Notably, during the 2014 election, BJP had swept, wresting all five seats from the Congress.
In last elections, Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah of BJP kept the flag of erstwhile ruling family and her party high when she defeated Saket Bahuguna of Congress by a margin of 192503 votes. This time around, Saket along with his father Vijay Bahuguna is in BJP. In BJP, Mala Rajya Laxmi, Vijay Bahuguna and Vikasnagar MLA Munna Singh Chauhan are among the hopefuls while the PCC president Pritam Singh, former PCC president Kishore Upadhayaya and Hira Singh Bisht are said to be in the panel of the Congress.
This seat is witnessing maximum number of contenders in BJP as the sitting MP Major General B C Khanduri ( Rtd), his daughter Ritu Khanduri, cabinet ministers- Satpal Mahraj and Harak Singh Rawat-, Shaurya Doval ( son of NSA Ajit Doval), chairperson of women’s commission Vijay Barthwal and national secretary Teerath Singh Rawat are said to be vying for ticket. Apart from them, the former principal of Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) Col Ajay Kothiyal (Rtd) and Rear Admiral OPS Rana are also said to on the panel of the party. In Congress, Manish Khanduri, son of Major Gen B C Khanduri, former ministers Surendra Singh Negi and Rajendra Bhandari are the probable candidates.
Sitting MP Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘ Nishank’ is getting a tough challenge from cabinet minister Madan Kaushik for the BJP ticket from the constituency. Chairperson of twenty- point programme Naresh Bansal is also staking his claim.
In Congress, the former Chief Minister Harish Rawat is said to be keen to contest from Haridwar. Former minister Ambresh Kumar and Brahmswarup Brahamchari are also in the contention.
Despite his reluctance to contest, the sitting MP and former CM Bhagat Singh Koshiyari is said to be the party’s choice for the poll. The state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt, former MP Balraj Pasi, Cabinet Minister Yashpal Arya and Bansi Dhar Bhagat are also in the contention. From Congress either former CM Harish Rawat or former MP Mahendra Singh Pal is expected to be favoured with the ticket.
Sitting MP Ajay Tamta and three- time MLA Chandan Ram Das and minister of state Rekha Arya are in the contention for the BJP ticket while Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta, president of Mahila Congress Sarita Arya and Asha Tamta are said to be in the panel of the Congress.
Saturday, 16 March 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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