Maharani Mala Rajlaxmi Shah of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party defeated Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna’s son, Saket Bahuguna, by a margin of 22,694 votes in the Tehri Lok Sabha by-election on Saturday.
The BJP’s triumph is perceived to be the result of the angry vote of the citizens, who decided to either stay away on polling day or register their displeasure against the “one-sided” policies of the Congress, by voting for the BJP. “The message is clear — the people have warned the politicians to give up their gimmicks and falsehood or face defeat in polls,” remarked Shivani Thapliyal and Geeta Mishra, both political science scholars in Dehradun.
The high-profile Congress canvassing seems to have taken a beating due to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders issue, which threatened the very kitchen of every household in the region.
Other issues such as FDI and the scandals hitting the headlines almost every day and the bickering in the State Congress added to the anti-Congress sentiments, even in a stronghold like Dehradun.
Congratulating Ms. Shah on her triumph, Mr. Saket Bahuguna said he would continue working for the people of Tehri.
Ms. Shah thanked the electorate for electing her, and promised to do her best within the short span of 16 months of the present Lok Sabha’s tenure.
Jubilation in the form of fireworks, rallies complete with ‘dhol nagaras’ (drums) by BJP cadres in Uttarkashi, Dehradun, Tehri, Haldwani, Pithoragarh and Almora marked the celebrations. Leader of the Opposition Ajay Bhatt described the triumph as the beginning of the end of the Congress “misrule” and ‘ghotalas’ (scandals) in the country.
The former Chief Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, described the triumph as a verdict of the people against “anti-people” and “anti-kitchen” (cylinder) policies of the Congress combine.