In an “overwhelming” mandate for the BJP in Uttarakhand, the party in Dehradun turned victorious on Saturday after winning 57 of the total 70 seats and “creating history” in the State where no party had won over two-thirds majority in the past State Assembly elections.
Addressing the media at the BJP office here, the party’s Uttarakhand in-charge Shyam Jaju thanked the people of Uttarakhand for the “overwhelming mandate” they gave to the BJP and for bringing in a “ krantikari parivartan (revolutionary change)” in Uttarakhand by voting the BJP to power.
“Uttarakhand has created history today [on Saturday],” Mr Jaju said, adding that “no political party had won with such overwhelming majority in past State Assembly polls”.
However, Mr Jaju did not mention a possible Chief Minister for the State. The party would decide on a chief minister for Uttarakhand in the coming days, he said.
In a tweet on Saturday evening, Mr Modi stated that the victory in Uttarakhand was “special” for the party and that the BJP would serve the people of the State with “hard work” and “integrity”.
Though the party won in Uttarakhand, in a setback its State president Ajay Bhatt lost the Ranikhet seat to the Congress by 4,981 votes.
While massive celebrations of victory continued at the BJP office throughout Saturday, at the Congress office a palpable lull prevailed after the party's debacle.
The mandate was perceived as an "unexpected" one by the Congress that won only 11 seats in the State and a major setback for the Congress came when its chief ministerial candidate Harish Rawat, who is currently the acting chief minister of the State, lost both seats that he had contested from.
In Udham Singh Nagar district’s Kichha seat Mr Rawat lost to the BJP candidate Rajesh Shukla by 2,127 votes. In Haridwar district’s Haridwar Rural seat he lost to BJP’s Yatishwaranand by 12,278 votes.
While addressing the media here, Mr Rawat said, “I accept the debacle. May be there was some error in my leadership that resulted in the debacle.”
Mr Rawat also said that the BJP government would receive “complete support” from him in all its endeavours towards Uttarakhand's development.
However, while mentioning that “the BJP got a mandate it didn’t deserve”, Mr Rawat said the “credits” for the mandate where the BJP won 57 seats went to the persistent “Modi kranti (revolution) and the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) chamatkaar (miracle)” hinting at an alleged tampering with the EVMs.
Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Kishore Upadhyay too lost the Sahaspur seat to the BJP by 18,863 votes.
While the Independent candidates won two seats, according to the Election Commission of India, of the total vote share in Uttarakhand the BJP received 46.5% (over 23 lakh votes), the Congress received 33.5% vote share, the Independent candidates received 10% vote share, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) received 7% vote share, and the remaining was shared between the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD), the Samajwadi Party (SP), and NOTA.