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Power changing hands between BJP & Cong in U’khand

AAP trying hard to register its presence this time in the sharply bipolar political environment

Tuesday, 11 January 2022 | PNS | Dehradun

Amid increasing cases of Covid-19 and prevailing cold wave like conditions, the political cauldron in Uttarakhand is simmering hot with all the political parties gearing themselves up for the upcoming assembly elections. As per the schedule released by the election commission (EC), 81,43,922 electors spread into 13 districts and 70 assembly constituencies would vote on February 14 to elect a new government. 

The electorate of the state which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the year 2000 has handed over power alternatively to Congress and BJP in the last four assembly elections held in the state. This time also there would be a direct contest between these two political forces even though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is trying hard to make the electoral field three cornered. After the creation of the state an interim government headed by Nityanand Swami was sworn into the state but within months he was removed and the saffron party appointed seasoned Bhagat Singh Koshyari in his place to steer the party to victory in the first assembly elections in the year 2002. BJP was confident of a victory in the polls on the ground that it was instrumental in creating a separate state of Uttarakhand which fulfilled a long standing demand of the people of the state. However the people of the state had other ideas as it voted in the favour of the Congress party in the elections. The Congress secured 36 seats in the polls while the BJP could win in only 19 seats. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) chipped in with seven and three seats respectively.  Ignoring the claim of Harish Rawat who was considered as the architect of victory the Congress high command appointed veteran Narayan Dutt Tiwari as CM of the state. Incidentally he is the only CM in the state who was in power for the full term of five years. In the second assembly elections held in the year 2007, the electorate gave a divided mandate as no party could get the magic number of 36 seats in the 70 member state assembly. The BJP secured 31.90 per cent vote and won in 34 seats while Congress could win in 21 seats only. Major General ( Retd) B C Khanduri of BJP formed the government with the support of independents and UKD. In the third elections held in the state in 2012, the state again witnessed a fractured mandate. The Congress won in 32 seats while BJP was a close second with 31 seats. The Congress formed the government with the support of independents and BSP. In lieu of the support the Congress had to give ministerial berths to these MLAs. The Congress initially made Vijay Bahuguna as the CM but later handed over the power to Harish Rawat. In the assembly elections held in the year 2017 the Congress fought the election on the face of Harish Rawat but the BJP secured a landslide victory with 57 seats. The Congress could win in only 11 seats. CM Harish Rawat lost from both Kiccha (Udham Singh Nagar) and Haridwar rural seats he contested. 

Uttarakhand election Fact- file

Total assembly seats – 70

Number of polling stations – 11,647

Total voters – 81,43,922

Male voters – 42,24,288

Female voters – 39,19,334

Others –            300

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