The outcome of previous assembly polls in Uttaranchal clearly indicates that if the BJP manages just one per cent surge of votes in its favour, the Congress will have no other option but to sit in opposition. In the 2002 polls, the Congress had received 26.91 per cent votes (36 seats) while the BJP bagged 25.45 per cent votes with 19 seats. Compare to the Congress, the BJP had bagged just 42,000 less votes out of the total 28,63,886 (54.34 per cent) polled. This time the BJP has made preparations to get at least four per cent more votes. About eight lakh new voters in the state are expected to play a vital role in this election. Uttaranchal is going to polls on February 21.
In the previous elections the BSP had also registered its presence in the state by winning seven seats in Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar. In fact, the victory of BSP damaged the prospects of BJP. The BSP had got 10.93 per cent votes. The SP had, however, contested 63 seats but at the 57 seats its candidates could not save their deposits. But later it won the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat, and may now open its account in the state assembly. The Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) had bagged 5.49 per cent votes with four seats. Three seats were won by independents. The CPI had fielded 11 candidates and the CPM had fielded five candidates last time but they all lost their deposits.
Shri B.C. Khanduri admits that the BJP had made massive preparations to get at least four per cent votes. ?After losing power in the state, the BJP established contact in each and every village, which was a unique contact drive. In every region we hope more than five per cent surge in our votes,? he told Organiser in Dehradun.
He says corruption and lack of development would be the dominant issues in the polls. ?Congress government'sindifference to the issue of women'sempowerment would also be one of the prime poll planks. BJP will also seek the people'sverdict on issues like increasing crime and fast-rising unemployment graph in the state,? he said adding that the Congress? five-year rule is atrocious. ?No development, rampant corruption and a scam in recruitment. Worse there has been bungling in the CM'sdiscretionary fund. It is common knowledge that the beneficiaries are people living and working outside the state. This shows Tewari'sindifference to the people of the state. At the micro level, the Congress will be on the mat for mismanagement of funds and resources and absence of development and also for poor roads and unemployment. Law and order is in a mess,? he added.
Shri Khanduri said the BJP is contesting elections on the promise of providing a clean and transparent government and also to make the state a developed state within the next five years. ?The BJP is hoping to win the elections because of two major factors. The first is the anti-incumbency wave, which is sweeping the state, and the second is the BJP promise of clean, transparent and efficient governance. We shall remind the people of the misdeeds of the Congress government,? he said adding further that the party exposed over 60 major scandals of the Tewari government.
When asked what the BJP was promising to the people of Uttaranchal apart from exposing the misdeeds of Tewari government, he said the BJP would bring the rule of law to the state. It would give top priority to clean, honest and efficient governance. He also added that BJP would review all the land acquisition done by Tewari government, especially in Doon and Pant Nagar as these had been done without adequate planning and purpose.
Quoting the statement of Central Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad in Parliament, he said from 2002 to November 2005, in the three-year period of the Congress government, only 101 kilometers of road were constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), while in just the 14-month tenure of the BJP government, earlier, 284 kilometers of road were constructed under the PMGSY. How, then, could the Congress government in one of its recent publications claim to have constructed 545 kilometers or rural roads under the PMGSY? he questioned. He charged the government with making false claims in all its publications.