Ravindra Saini from Dehradun
BJP lost Uttarakhand reaching so close to power—just one seat away. It is the defeat that shocked not only the party cadre and the people of Uttarakhand, but also the entire nation. Those who have been fighting against corruption for some time are also deeply stunned.
Chief Minister BC Khanduri also might have lost, but the people of the state are still with him. They know the elements which sponsored this defeat. It is a lesson for BJP.
Contrary to the clear prediction by most of the news channels and newspapers in favour of the Congress, it was neck and neck fight in Uttarakhand. Congress won 32 of the 70 seats, while the BJP won 31 and 7 by others. The biggest setback for BJP is the defeat of Chief Minister BC Khanduri from Kotdwar by 4632 votes.
In September 2011, the BJP had carried out a survey in Uttarakhand and the party was then found to win hardly 7 seats. It forced the party high command to go for change of guard in the state. The party high command then reposed faith in the abilities of BC Khanduri and entrusted him with this onerous responsibility. During the last few months, the General burnt midnight oil to push the culture of development with probity and transparency. He with firm determination pushed for the implementation of Citizens Charter and enhanced powers of the public ombudsman (Lokayukta).
During his earlier tenure, Shri Khanduri was twice nominated by media houses among the best Chief Ministers in the country. Recently, a news channel showed that 33 per cent people of the state want Shri Khanduri back as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. The public service department was created to prevent corruption and achieve the sushasan. For these historical decisions, Shri Khanduri was widely appreciated by the people of Uttarakhand. Even Anna Hazare and his team praised him for taking measures to prevent corruption. The way he gave a push to the administrative machinery, Shri Khanduri succeeded in bringing the BJP close to form the government.
The defeat of Shri Khanduri along with three other prominent leaders including Prakash Pant, Trivendra Rawat and Matbar Singh Kandari is a shock for the party workers. The BJP basically lost power in the state because of the defeat of these stalwarts who would otherwise have been considered the clear winners.
There are reports that the timely reach of a significant number of postal ballots to the service voters was sabotaged. Majority of the people from general public have described the defeat of Khanduri as “the defeat of honesty”. When Shri Khanduri tendered his resignation to Governor Margaret Alva on March 7, she too expressed sorrow on his losing from Kotdwar and praised his performance during the short tenure. She admitted that it is a great irony that people sometime do not vote and support the good people. Alva was emotionally sad at Khanduri’s defeat.
Responding to his defeat Shri Khanduri said: “I acknowledge that I was unable to give enough time during the campaigning to the people of Kotdwar, but I believe that in the present situation, the whole state is my constituency. I represented Kotdwar from 1991 to 2007 and the people know me well, but I accept the decision of the voters with humility. My close relation with the people of this segment will not diminish and I will continue to work for their welfare.”