June 1, 2009 2:46:21 pm
Having lost all the five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand,the BJP received a shot in the arm on Monday when it won the by-election for the Kapkot assembly constituency. The polling for the seat that had been vacated by former Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari after he was elected to the Rajya Sabha in November last year,had taken place on May 28.
BJPs Sher Singh Garia emerged the winner as he defeated his nearest rival Kunti Parihar of the NCP by a margin of 7136 votes. The Congress candidate Chamu Singh Ghasiyal of Congress finished a poor third.The seat had witnessed 58 per cent polling.
An elated Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri said after the victory, This is a Margdarshak Vijay. It conveys that the people are satisfied with the functioning of the government and the organization in the state. He said that in the Lok Sabha polls,BJP had led by 2613 votes in Kapkot segment which was a part of the Almora parliamentary constituency. Within a fortnight this lead has grown to 7176. We have to analyse why we lost the Lok Sabha polls and emerged victorious in the Kapkot by-poll just after a fortnight, he said.
The BJP headquarters in Dehradun witnessed large scale celebrations that were marked by bursting of crackers and distribution of sweets.
Kapkot is looked upon as a BJP stronghold and the bastion of Khanduris bete-noire Koshiyari. Both had campaigned in the constituency along with the state BJP President Bacchi Singh Rawat just after another round of internal power struggle over the issue of change in the state leadership.
During the campaign Khanduri had said that the BJP was fighting this election on the issue of developmental works done by Koshiyari and the performance of his own government.
Khanduri had led the BJP to a series of electoral victories ever since he took over as the Chief Minister of the state. These include by-polls for both the parliament and the state assembly along with the local level elections. The BJP had got a drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha poll but the Kapkot victory has once again boosted the sagging morale of the party cadres in the state.
When asked why Koshiyari was missing in the celebrations at Dehradun,Rawat pointed out, A similar celebration is on at Haldwani also where he is present.
The Kapkot result has also added to the numerical strength of the BJP in the state assembly which now stands at 35 out of 69. The party will be facing another by-poll for the Vikas Nagar seat in the near future. The seat had fallen vacant when the sitting BJP legislator Munna Singh Chauhan had quit both the BJP and his assembly membership to contest the Lok Sabha poll from the Tehri seat as a BSP candidate. In the house of 70 members the BJP also enjoys the support of three Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) members and two independents.
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