Uttarakhand by-poll boosts BJP hopes
After losing all five Lok Sabha seats to Congress in Uttarakhand recently, it was being said that BJP in the state was losing its ground. After the Lok Sabha debacle, the BJP and its workers and leaders were in the state of saying nothing and disappointment was being felt everywhere. The Lok Sabha election results even astonished the Congress as it never hoped of winning all the five Lok Sabha seats. But by-polls in Uttarakhand have proved a hope for BJP after the Lok Sabha elections.
There have been two by-polls in the state after the Lok Sabha elections. BJP did extremely well just 15 days after the Lok Sabha elections, as it won the Kapkot by-election with 7,690 votes. The Congress came third even though it had got a lead of 2,500 votes in the Lok Sabha elections from the same constituency. It is also to be mentioned that in the last two years, ten electoral exercises had been held at various levels in the state, which included by-elections to the Lok Sabha seat, Vidhan Sabha, Panchayat and municipal elections. BJP had done very well lagging Congress and other parties far behind but it had to face a very shameful defeat in the Lok Sabha seat. All the elections until Kapkot by-elections, the election were won under Chief Minister Shri BC Khanduri but after Lok Sabha elections, Shri Khanduri had to resign and Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal “Nishank” became the Chief Minister. He has also proved his miracle in the Vikasnagar by-election.
Proving poll predictions wrong BJP in the state has won the by-poll for Vikasnagar assembly seat recently on September 14. The win also took the party tally to 36 in the 70- member Vidhan Sabha giving it slender majority. News reports and analysis carried by local news channels had expected the fight to be one-sided in favour of the Congress. Munna Singh Chauhan who resigned as an MLA from BJP and an independent candidate was expected to come second followed by the BJP at the third. In 2007, Munna Singh Chauhan had won the seat as a BJP candidate and defeated Nav Prabhat of Congress by a margin of about 100 votes only. In the last general elections, the BJP had secured only 14,000 votes from this seat, which falls under Tehri Lok Sabha constituency with the Congress bagging 34,000 votes.
The reversal of the trend has enthused party workers and the top brass of the party in the state. BJP’s victory has rejuvenated the workers across the state. Talking to Organiser Shri Ajay Bhatt, former Health Minister and general secretary of BJP said the biggest factor behind the party’s win was better management of the poll process. “The entire team worked relentlessly. We organised multi purpose camps in the region prior to the elections and won the confidence of the masses. Farmers, government servants and the public of the region felt that only BJP was sincere on the agenda of development”, he said. This win is likely to strengthen the stability the BJP government as it comes after the BJP had lost face in the parliamentary elections after a whitewash by the Congress. This is the second victory in a row for BJP as far by polls go. The victory will prove a feather in the cap of Chief Minister Dr Nishank at a personal level. He managed to turn the anti-incumbency factor in the ruling party’s favour
After this victory, Dr Nishank described it as an endorsement of the policies of BJP government in the State. He said the party workers had worked hard and untidily. He promised that the BJP government would spare no effort in justifying the trust that the people of Vikasnagar and Kapkot had placed in it. These by-polls have indicated that the BJP is still the most preferred and popular party. With the victory in the Vikasnagar by-poll under his belt, Shri Nishank looks set to rule the state for the remaining two and half years without much trouble. Shri Nishank played a key role in the management of the poll campaign and was personally meeting senior citizens and the public.
Commenting on the victory of BJP in by-elections former Chief Minister Shri Nityanand Swami said this victory clearly indicates the faith of the people in Bharatiya Janata Party and in its ideology. “It has sent a strong answer across to all rivals. The people of Vikasnagar voted in large number in favour of the BJP candidate and provided strength to the party,” he said.