The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the District Panchayat polls in Uttarakhand. The party bagged 9 out of 12 District Panchayat president posts in the polls held at various district headquarters on October 10. The Panchayats that the BJP won included Pithoragarh, Champawat, Rudraprayag, Pauri, Almora, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Bageshwar. Congress managed to win only two seats of Nainital and Udham Singh Nagar, while a seat of Dehradun has gone to an independent.
In Dehradun, BJP candidate Neeru Devi lost to rebel BJP leader Madhu Chauhan who contested as an independent by just one vote. In Tehri, Shri Ratan Singh Gunsola of BJP won against Smt Ambika Sajwan of Congress (wife of former Congress Minister Shoorvir Singh Sajwan) in a straight fight. Shri Gunsola secured 30 votes, while Smt Ambika got merely 15 votes. In Pauri, Shri Keshav Singh Negi of BJP won against Shri Bhuvnesh Kharkwal of Congress. Shri Negi secured 37 votes, while Shri Kharkwal received 11 votes. One vote was held invalid. In Uttarkashi, BJP'sShri Narayan Singh Chauhan was declared winner.
In Chamoli, BJP candidate Smt Vijaya Rawat won against Smt. Godavari Rawat, after independent candidate and wife of Sports Minister Rajni Bhandari withdrew from the contest at the last minute. While Smt Vijaya Rawat secured 22 votes, Congress candidate could secure merely 5 votes. In Rudraprayag, Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt of BJP won against Shri Virendra Singh Bist of Congress.
In Pithoragarh, Smt. Ranjana Devi of BJP won against Malti Arya of Congress in a straight contest. Smt. Ranjana Devi got 21 votes, while Malti Arya could manage only 13 votes. In Bageshwar, Shri Ram Singh Koranga of BJP won against independent Smt Kunti, who was supported by Congress. In Almora, Shri Mohan Ram of BJP won against Rajendra Barakoti of Congress. Shri Mohan Ram secured 35 votes, while Shri Barakoti could manage only 13 votes. In Udham Singh Nagar, Congress candidate Smt. Sushila Gangwar of Congress won against Paramjit.
Celebrations broke out at the BJP headquarters in Dehradun after initial trends suggested that party candidates were doing fairly well in District Panchayat elections. ?All credit goes to our party workers who worked hard in the polling,? said Shri Ajay Bhatt, BJP state general secretary. He claimed that success in the Panchayat polls clearly indicates that the party has strong presence in rural areas. ?The results are referendum on the working of the State government,? he added. Most of the Ministers of Shri Khanduri cabinet had been camping in their respective districts for the last several days to guarantee success for the BJP candidates.
The BJP also won more than 40 posts of Block Presidents out of 89 seats where elections were held on October 9. Congress could manage to win around 25 seats. UKD was restricted to just 2 seats while the left parties won 1 seat. Four seats went to others.
BJP won 4 out of 6 blocks in Dehradun district, while Congress won the remaining 2. In Pithoragarh, the BJP won 5 while Congress won 3 out of a total of 9 seats. One seat was won by an independent. In Champawat, Congress won 3 while BJP won 2 out of a total of 5 seats. In Bageshwar district, 2 seats were won by BJP while the remaining one seat was won by Congress candidate. In Rudraprayag, BJP won two seats while independent won one and Congress had to draw a blank. In Udham Singh Nagar, four seats were won by Congress, BJP won 2 while one was won by independent.
In Tehri, the BJP won four, the Congress won 2 while the remaining one seat was won by UKD. In Almora, the BJP won five seats while Congress won four. One seat went to independent. In Uttarkashi, BJP won four while Congress could win only one seat. One seat was won by an independent. In Chamoli, the BJP won four and Congress won three seats. The remaining two seats went to others. In Pauri, the BJP won 5, Congress 4 and six seats went to others. In Nainital, both the BJP and Congress won four seats each. Polling for the posts of Block Presidents, Senior Vice Presidents and Junior Vice Presidents was held on October 9.
Chief Minister Shri BC Khanduri expressed happiness at the BJP'ssuccess in the Panchayat polls. He thanked the party workers and the people for their support. He added that BJP'sperformance in the Parliamentary and Assembly by-polls, in the Urban local bodies polls and now the 3-tier Panchayat polls during the past 18 months of its rule showed that people were happy with the performance of the government. He observed that BJP workers worked hard, reaching each and every village and working in a systemic and disciplined way. They deserve congratulations for this. He noted that development work had been affected due to the Model Code of Conduct that remained in force in the state for a major part of 18 months under BJP rule due to a string of elections. However, the results showed that the people were happy with the performance of the government, he claimed.