Rebels Pose Challenge to Cong, BJP in U’khand
Both parties have, however, succeeded in pacifying rebel candidates in some constituencies and persuaded them to withdraw
Dehradun: The ruling Congress as well as the opposition BJP are grappling with the presence of rebels turned independent candidates in the upcoming Assembly election. Besides, the Congress is facing a potentially serious challenge from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in more than a dozen seats.
While the Congress has expelled more than 20 rebels since the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers on February 1, the BJP has shown the door to17 such candidates, including three former MLAs. Both the parties have, however, succeeded in pacifying the rebel candidates in some important constituencies and persuaded them to withdraw their nomination papers. Polling is due on February 15. The BJP has pacified four sitting MLAs who were denied ticket in this election — Vijaya Barthwal, Tirath Singh Rawat, Mahabir Rangar and Chandrashekhar — to withdraw their nomination papers.
Similarly, the Congress has prevailed over Shilpi Arora, Ranjit Das, Rajendra Dhawan, Ramesh Max and Gajendra Singh Panwar, who have withdrawn their nomination papers from Kichcha, Bageshwar, Cantt, Khatima and Rudraprayag assembly seats respectively.
The situation is tough for both the Congress and the BJP in Sahaspur and Ranikhet. While Congress’ state president Kishore Upadhyay is facing a serious challenge from his party’s old hand and now an independent candidate, Aryendra Sharma, in Sahaspur seat, the source of headache for BJP’s state president Ajay Bhatt in Ranikhet assembly seat is the party rebel Pramod Nainwal.
THIRD EMERGING POLITICAL FORCE
BSP, which is contesting from all the 70 seats in the state, is considered to be the third emerging political force in view of its good performance in the assembly polls in the past. While it had bagged eight seats in 2007 Assembly polls, it won only three seats in 2012. However, its vote share has grown in consecutive Assembly elections. Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar districts, which have 20 seats under their jurisdictions, are considered to be BSP’s stronghold.