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Pithoragarh bypolls: BJP wins by slender margin of 3,267 votes

Pithoragarh Bye-Election Results 2019: BJP candidate Chandra Pant defeated her main rival and Congress candidate Anju Lunthi. Chandra Pant is the wife of three-time MLA and former minister Prakash Pant, whose death had necessitated the bye-elections.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 28, 2019 5:42:30 pm
Race to succeed Shwait Malik as Punjab BJP chief intensifies Pithoragarh Bye-Election Results 2019: BJP on Thursday retained the Pithoragarh assembly seat in Uttarakhand by a slim margin of 3267 votes. (Representational)

Pithoragarh Bye-Election Results 2019: BJP on Thursday retained the Pithoragarh assembly seat in Uttarakhand by a slim margin of 3267 votes, with its candidate Chandra Pant defeating her main rival and Congress candidate Anju Lunthi. Chandra Pant is the wife of three-time MLA and former minister Prakash Pant, whose death had necessitated the bye-elections.

Even in 2017, the Pithoragarh seat saw a photo finish, with BJP coming up triumphs by a margin of 2,684 votes. Both BJP and Congress had fielded a battery of leaders for campaigning in the constituency. Here are the highlights

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the victory was expected. “The seat was ours and we are happy to retain it. The margin is big. We thank people of the constituency for reposing their faith in us once again,” PTI quoted Rawat as saying.

Reacting to the win, an emotional Chandra Pant said, “It is the result of developmental works done by my late husband in the constituency, besides the relentless hard work of party workers. I would try to meet the expectations of the voters who showered their love and affection on me”.

During campaigning, BJP’s Chandra Pant had promised voters that she would fulfil her husband’s dreams, while Lunthi had harped on her work as the head of the local block development council over the past two years.

Lunthi, meanwhile, said it was a learning experience for her. “I have learnt a lot in this election as it was my first chance. The support of the voters and party workers which I got this time will be my source of inspiration in coming elections,” she said.

The BJP had sought a mandate describing itself as a party that believes in serving people quietly. On the other hand, Congress raked up the issues of “growing unemployment, rising prices and stalled development schemes” initiated during its government’s tenure.

Prakash Pant was elected MLA from Pithoragarh in 2017, 2007 and 2002. In 2012, he lost against the Congress’s Mayukh Mahar. Pant was a prominent leader in Uttarakhand and had held the key Parliamentary Affairs and Finance portfolios in Trivendra Singh Rawat’s cabinet.

This time too, the Congress had requested Mahar to contest, but he denied. Eventually, the party fielded Anju Lunthi (29), wife of state Congress Committee member and contractor Dev Singh.

During campaigning, CM Rawat had highlighted various steps taken by his government to boost road and air connectivity and announced that the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch, which is the part of an ambitious all-weather road project, was nearing completion. Rawat also said his government is in talks with several aviation companies to streamline air services from Pithoragarh to Hindon and Dehradun.

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