Saffron wave grips UP, Uttarakhand
In an unprecedented electoral success, the BJP, riding on the Modi wave, won 57 of the total 70 seats in Uttarakhand, the maximum by any party since the creation of the state. For the Congress, that won just 11 seats, the defeat was complete with Chief Minister Harish Rawat losing from both Haridwar Rural and Kichha in Udham Singh Nagar.
Most of his Cabinet colleagues, except Indira Hriydesh from Haldwani and Pritam Singh from Chakrata, lost too. Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal won by just 399 votes from Jageshwar.
The Narender Modi tsunami swept through Uttarakhand uprooting the Congress. The BJP bagged 57 of the 70 Assembly seats in the election results declared here on Saturday. It is a gain of 25 seats for the party over the 2012 elections, when it had won 31 seats. While the Congress was banking on Harish Rawat’s charisma and stature in state politics, the BJP roped in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, national party president Amit Shah, Union Cabinet ministers and senior leaders to swing votes in its favour.
The BJP achieved a thumping majority by performing exceptionally in Garhwal, Kumaon and the plains of the state. It emerged triumphant in the hilly areas of Garhwal comprising Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and Chamoli districts winning 14 of the 17 seats. The party lost the Kedarnath, Purola and Dhanolti seats. In Kumaon, the party bagged 23 of the 29 seats.
So, all pervasive was the Modi wave in Haridwar that in its wake decimated the Congress. Harish Rawat lost to BJP candidate Yateshwaranand from Haridwar rural while Madan Kaushik created a record of sorts by polling 61,742 votes.
The Harish Rawat government was already on a weak wicket due to the exodus of 12 Congress leaders, the BJP leadership capitalised on the issues and Modi’s direct appeal to people to vote for the party by pitchforking the double engine analogy emphasising the need to have a BJP government at the state that could work in tandem with the party-led Central government, helped voters in giving it a decisive mandate.
The BJP also managed to negate the party’s decision to give ticket to all former Congress leaders who had joined the party and the kin of party leaders.
Barring Shailender Mohan Singhal from Jaspur and Shaila Rani Rawat from Kedarnath, all seven former Congress MLAs, who had rebelled against Harish Rawat, have won on the BJP ticket.