C. K. Chandramohan
DEHRA DUN: It seems an easy passage to the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha for Chief Minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri through Dhumakot where the by-election will be held on August 29. He is pitted against the Congress strongman and former Minister Surendra Singh Negi who seems to be losing ground in the face of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s development promise.
Although both the BJP and the opposition Congress have been concentrating heavily in and around the Assembly segment by holding meetings in Dhumakot and neighbouring Ramnagar where a good number of voters live, the people in general seem to be in a mood to return the Chief Minister for obvious reasons.
“General Sahib has to be our MLA as we see the chances of all-round development of this neglected area over the next five years,” say Asha Bhandari, Vimla Bisht Rajendra Bijlawan and other social activists who seem to be seeking a vote for the Chief Minister in the hope that he would ensure much awaited justice for their badly neglected hamlets.
“The BJP promise about development is countered by the Congress leaders Harak Singh Rawat, Indira Hirdeyesh and Hira Singh Bisht who are going round the area describing the development claims of the Khanduri Government as ‘cheating’ as the projects for which the BJP was taking credit had been initiated during the Narain Dutt Tiwari regime.
The BJP Ministers including Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank are camping in the constituency along with the organisation leaders and making efforts to reach the development message to each household as heavy rains over the past fortnight have made canvassing a difficult task.
Anil Aggarwal, in charge of the BJP affairs, on Tuesday claimed that the Congress had already conceded defeat and lowered its canvassing pitch.
Not to be pulled into the mudslinging game by sections of both parties, the Chief Minister is going about his job holding review meetings in Dehra Dun and Delhi. “Now the people know that I am for all-round development through need-based rapid industrialisation, modernisation of agriculture, education and IT. Let them cast their vote for development,” Gen. Khanduri told The Hindu.