Ruling Congress Party’s candidate Mamta Rakesh won the by-election to the Bhagwanpur assembly seat (SC seat) by an impressive margin of more than 36000 votes. This by-election was necessitated after the death of Congress Candidate Mamta’s husband Surendra Rakesh who was transport minister in the Congress-headed Harish Rawat government. Late Rakesh had won this seat in 2012 assembly elections as a BSP candidate.
With the Congress Party’s victory in this by-election, Harish Rawat government has now got majority on its own in the 70-member Uttarakhand assembly. Now Congress will have 36 members in the house.
As per the results of the by-elections, Congress candidate Mamta Rakesh got a total number of 59205 votes while Mamta’s nearest rival and BJP candidate Rajpal Singh has bagged 22296 votes. Since Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had not fielded its candidate in the by-election to Bhagwanpur assembly seat, it was almost direct contest between the Uttarakhand’s both the mainstream parties- ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP.
In 2012 assembly elections, Rakesh had won this seat as BSP nominee and subsequently became as minister in the Congress-headed government. Later, BSP had put Rakesh under suspension from the party.
Congress candidate’s victory in the by-election has come as a major political success for Harish Rawat in his more than one-year-old tenure as CM. Earlier in July last year (2014), Congress had won all the three by-elections to Doiwala, Someshwar and Dharchula seat. CM rawat had got elected to the state assembly from Dharchula seat which was vacated by his loyalist Harish Dhami.
Rawat currently runs his government with the support of Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) which is a platform of six Non-congress MLAs, including two BSP (excluding Late Surendra Rakesh), three independents and one UKD.
Following the victory of Mamta Rakesh as Congress candidate, CM Harish Rawat may face pressure from within his own party to drop the ministers who are from the PDF quota. “Rawat’s rival within the Congress party may raise their fresh demands to drop the ministers from the PDF quota and accommodate the Congress MLAs in the state cabinet,” a source in the Congress Party said.
However, Rawat’s supporters felt that there is little chance of dropping the ministers of PDF quota. “We think Rawat will prefer to continue to enjoy the support of PDF for running his government,” said Rawat’s one supporter.
Lucknow: The ruling Samajwadi Party today retained Charkhari seat in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh, its candidate Urmila Rajput winning by over 40,000 votes. Urmila, who defeated the BJP’s Ganga Charan Rajput, is the wife of the previous SP MLA, Kaptan Singh, who was disqualified from the seat on account of his conviction in a 13-year-old murder case. Before Kaptan, the seat was held by the BJP’s Uma Bharti until she became a Lok Sabha MP.