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Cong finally climbs up the hill

Converting the prevalent anti-incumbency mood to its advantage,the Congress swept the hills,winning all five seats.

Written by Rajeev Khanna | Dehradun |
May 17, 2009 1:44:52 am

Converting the prevalent anti-incumbency mood to its advantage,the Congress swept the hills,winning all five seats. It was a major setback for the BJP that is in power in the state assembly and had campaigned primarily on the performance of the B.C. Khanduri-led government.

In Pauri,Khanduri’s home turf,the Congress’s Satpal Maharaj defeated the BJP’s Lt Gen TPS Rawat. Maharaj had earlier lost to Rawat in the 2008 by-poll.

In Almora,the Congress tasted victory after two decades with Pradeep Tamta defeating the BJP’s Ajay Tamta. But the biggest upset for the BJP came in Nainital constituency where its state president Bacchi Singh Rawat lost to K.C. Singh Baba of the Congress who retained his seat. The Congress’s biggest achievement perhaps was its win in Hardwar where party heavyweight Harish Rawat defeated the BSP’s Mohammad Shehzad. Hardwar was seen as a BSP and SP stronghold and the Congress had not won here since 1991 but Rawat managed to make inroads into the BSP’s traditional vote base—the Muslims and the Dalits.

In Tehri,Congress’s Vijay Bahuguna who had won the seat in a by-poll in 2007,defeated veteran Munna Singh Chauhan of the BSP and newcomer Jaspal Rana of the BJP. Speaking on his party’s defeat in the state,Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri,“We accept the will of the people. Such results are unprecedented in context of Uttarakhand. We’ll analyse the outcome of the polls.”

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