Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who was a “victim” of President’s Rule last year and had expected to win the Assembly polls on a sympathy wave, lost the polls to the BJP, while Congress “rebels” emerged victorious.
Mr. Rawat, who was the chief ministerial candidate for the Congress, lost both the Kichha and Haridwar Rural seats from where he had contested. However, barring two former Congress “rebels”, all others won the polls on the BJP ticket.
Speaking to The Hindu in a recent interview, Mr. Rawat had said, “I have no malice against anyone, but the truth is that if the turncoats win, then Uttarakhand will lose. Their victory would mean instability for Uttarakhand politics for the next five to 10 years. If they win, it would mean that the public accepts the kind of politicians who, if they are unhappy with the functioning of their party, rebel against it and join some other party, even if this leads to the imposition of President’s Rule.”
“However, if they lose, then Uttarakhand will win. Hence, it is imperative that they must lose. I think the people of Uttarakhand also understand this,” Mr. Rawat had said.
Among the former Congress “rebels”, Umesh Sharma Kau won the Raipur seat, Subodh Uniyal the Narendranagar seat, Pradeep Batra the Roorkee seat, Kunwar Pranav Singh ‘Champion’ the Khanpur seat, Harak Singh Rawat the Kotdwar seat, and Rekha Arya the Someshwar seat.
Vijay Bahuguna, who served as chief minister of the hill State while he was with the Congress and crossed over to the BJP after being sidelined by the Congress, had sought the BJP ticket for his son Saurabh Bahuguna. The younger Bahuguna won the Sitarganj seat on Saturday.
The two rebels who lost were Shaila Rani Rawat, who lost the Kedarnath seat, and Shailendra Mohan Singhal, who lost the Jaspur seat.