The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leading in all the five parliamentary constituencies with a heavy margin in Uttarakhand as votes were being counted for the Lok Sabha election on Thursday.
The party swept the 2014 general election winning all five seats. The overall vote percentage of BJP was 34.1 followed by Congress with 21, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) at 2.9, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) 1.0 while others bagged 41.
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The exit polls had projected on Sunday that the BJP would win four to five seats in the hill state with the Congress either getting zero or one of them.
Poll analysts said, unlike the last polls, the vote share of the BJP will cross the 50% mark this year.
“The BJP’s campaign strategy, connect and above all the Modi wave has lead to the party’s success not only in Uttarakhand but across the country. In the state, it should be able to cross at least 50% vote share, leaving remaining 50% for rest of the parties,” Jay Singh Rawat, a poll analyst in Dehradun, said.
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The BJP’s Ajay Tamta was leading from the Almora seat with 219,614 votes, Tirath Singh Rawat was leading from Pauri Garhwal seat with 284,187 votes and Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was leading from Haridwar with 251,346 votes. Ajay Bhatt was leading from the Nainital seat with 317,664 votes and Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah with 291,557.
The Congress’ poster boy and former chief minister Harish Rawat was trailing with the highest margin from Nainital. Rawat, who initially wanted to contest from two seats Haridwar and Nainital, had to settle with Nainital.
But, the Thakur-Brahmin votes in the constituency couldn’t give him an edge. The Nainital seat is seen to be dominated by Thakurs, which might give disadvantage to Bhatt. But, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in Rudrapur, flushed away all statistics.
Harish Rawat had earlier lost assembly election from two seats Haridwar Rural and Kichha.
The BJP fielded its three sitting members of Parliament — Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah from Tehri Garhwal, Ajay Tamta from Almora and Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ from Haridwar.
Shah defeated the Congress candidate and son of former CM Vijay Bahuguna, Saket Bahuguna, in 2014 with a margin of 192, 503 votes. Ajay won against Congress’Pradeep Tamta with a margin of 95,690 votes and Nishank defeated Renuka Rawat by 177,822 votes.
In the remaining two seats, Pauri Garhwal and Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, former CMs BC Khanduri and Bhagat Singh Koshyari said they won’t contest the election. The party then fielded Tirath Singh Rawat, its national general secretary from Pauri seat, and state unit’s president Ajay Bhatt from Nainital.
Tirath vacated the Chaubattakhal assembly segment in the 2017 polls for Satpal Maharaj which he won in the 2012 assembly election. He was then made the national secretary of the party. After Khanduri denied contesting, as his son Manish Khanduri was also contesting from the same seat from Congress party, Tirath was the obvious choice.
Bhatt, however, was defeated during the assembly election in 2017 by Congress’s Karan Mahra. He had won the seat before that but the BJP failed to make its government in the state.
May 23, 2019 17:52 IST
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