The main fight at all the seats is between the ruling BJP and Congress
Uttarakhand is ready for polling in the first phase on April 11. Like previous polls in 2014, this time also the main fight is between ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. Two BJP stalwarts, Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Major General BC Khanduri, are not in the fray this time. The BJP has fielded state party president Ajay Bhatt from Nainital and senior leader Teerath Singh Rawat from Garhwal this time. Senior Congress leader Harish Rawat has shifted to Nainital. Nainital seat is one of the prestigious seats in the state, as it has been represented by veteran Congress leader the late ND Tiwari, who had joined the BJP at later stage of his life.
BJP president Shri Amit Shah at a rally in Dehradun
Second prominent seat in the state is Almora, which is a reserved seat. The BJP has repeated Shri Ajay Tamta from this seat and he is being challenged by Pradip Tamta of the Congress again. This seat was represented by veteran BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi in 1977. This seat is prominently spread in four districts—Almora, Pithoragarh, Champawat and Bageshwar.
Garhwal is basically a historic seat as it was represented by veteran BJP leader Major General (retd) BC Khanduri five times. He is not contesting this time, but his son Manish Khanduri has shifted to Congress and the Congress has fielded him against the BJP candidate Teerath Singh Rawat from this seat. This seat has also been represented by Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna from 1977 to 1991. Since then it was represented by Shri Khanduri.
Tehri seat comprises of 14 Assembly seats of Tehri, Uttarkashi and Dehradun. Lakha Mandal, Gangotri, Gomukh and Yamunotri are in this region. This seat has been represented by the royal family members of Garhwal for six times. This time also the BJP has repeated Maharani Mala Rajlakshmi Shah. Earlier, this seat was represented by her father-in-law the late Shri Manvendra Shah.
Haridwar Lok Sabha seat was won by former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’. This time also the BJP has repeated him. This seat is witnessing a triangular contest. Congress has fielded Amrish Kumar, while the SP and BSP have jointly fielded Dr Antariksh Saini, who was in the BJP several years back.
In 2014, the BJP had won all the five seats. This time also the BJP is in a better position as the Congress is not in a position to give a tough fight on any seat. However, the fight in Haridwar seems to be slightly tough for the BJP. The main fight at all the seats is between the development agenda of Modi and the fake promise of Rs 72,000 by Congress.