Earlier, there were even suggestions that the Chief Minister's seat Khatima itself could feel the impact of the farm laws, PM Modi's decision has altered the rules of the election game like a sledgehammer and the anguish and apprehensions of the farm community is neutralised,
New Delhi: To predict the future and that too on the Indian election results is a risky proposition. Yet, poll observers and analysts say the mega announcement that the farm laws would be repealed has brought new equations into play.
This year's polls would be unique for the tiny state of Uttarakhand, which came into existence only in 2000 during the NDA regime under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
There have been three changes to the chief minister's post since 2017. Tirath Singh Rawat replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat, and the BJP's central leadership later showed faith in Pushkar Singh Dhami.
Even a few days back, anyone would blindly say that the farmers' agitation was one of the major poll issues for the state. However, the political turmoil in Punjab was also being debated by political observers in Uttarakhand. But now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the contentious farm laws would be withdrawn, the immediate reaction in the Uttam Singh Nagar region in Uttarakhand was of a pleasant surprise and a sense of relief that the stir would end.
The assembly segments, such as Kashipur, Khatima, Gadarpur, Bajpur, Yashpur and Sitarganj, would have major political ramifications. Overall, it seems at least 10 assembly segments would feel the impact of the new move, and all these could be to BJP's advantage.
There were even suggestions that the Chief Minister's seat Khatima too could feel the impact of the farm laws. At 45, Pushkar Singh Dhami is the youngest Chief Minister of the state. Dhami had won the Khatima seat in 2017.
The new laws sought to open the sector to small and marginal farmers to sell their products outside government-controlled markets.
"But Prime Minister Modi's decision has altered the rules of the election game like a sledgehammer. If the anguish and apprehensions of the farm community is neutralised, the BJP would get immediate benefits in at least 10 seats where the agitation had left its influence," says an analyst in Dehradun, Prakash Sharma.
The BJP had won 57 seats in 2017 as against only 11 by Congress. One BJP source told 'Organiser', "The going has been good amid challenges. But it has become easier as the Congress party remains factions ridden."
The AAP from Delhi has tried to present itself as a key claimant to political space. It has rather ambitiously declared Ajay Kothiyal, a Retd Colonel, as its chief ministerial candidate, and if it does well, things may worsen for Congress.
For Uttarakhand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi was made the poll in charge. Lok Sabha MP Locket Chatterjee and party spokesperson, R. P. Singh, will be co-in-charge in the state. Notably, Singh is a Sikh and his focus could be more in areas inhabited by Sikhs and other agrarian communities.
Pralhad Joshi and others are likely to visit Uttarakhand on Wednesday, November 24, to review poll preparedness amid the need to recast some of the strategies after the PM has announced that the farm laws would be repealed. BJP chief J P Nadda made a two-day visit to Uttarakhand recently and held several organisational meetings.
In October, Home Minister Amit Shah visited the Himalayan state and launched the party's election campaign in a rally in Dehradun. He also held one round of strategy meet with state party leaders and Chief Minister Dhami. Mr Shah also inaugurated the Mukhyamantri Ghasiyari Kalyan Yojana (MGKY).
For his part, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Kedarnath recently and inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple key infrastructure projects. Boosting the tourism sector, education issues, health care, roads in the hills and environmental matters are likely to figure prominently in the poll campaign.
Drug trafficking is one of the major causes of crime in Uttarakhand.