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‘A vote against non-performance, internal squabbles’

Harish Rawat (Hardwar), Satpal Maharaj (Pauri Garhwal) and T.P.S. Rawat

Harish Rawat (Hardwar), Satpal Maharaj (Pauri Garhwal) and T.P.S. Rawat  

C. K. Chandramohan

Uttarakhand Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri concedes defeat

DEHRA DUN: In a stunning sweep, the Congress won four of the five Lok Sabha seats from Uttarakhand on Saturday and was leading in the fifth when reports last came in.

Stunning

Seasoned political observers here described it as a vote against non-performance and internal squabbles of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Khanduri Government.

Former Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee president Harish Rawat, who had shifted base from Almora in the wake of delimitation of constituencies, defeated his nearest rival, Swami Yatindranand Giri of the BJP, by over 1 lakh votes in Hardwar.

K. C. Singh Baba of the Congress retained his Naini Tal seat defeating the State BJP president and former Union Minister Bachi Singh Rawat by a whopping 88,412 votes.

Vijay Bahuguna of the Congress retained the Tehri seat defeating his nearest rival, ace shooter Jaspal Rana of the BJP, by 52,939 votes.

The Almora seat was bagged by grassroots level worker and former MLA Pradeep Tamta of the Congress defeating Uttarakhand Horticulture Minister Ajay Tamta of the BJP by 6,950 votes.

The declaration of former Union Minister and godman-politician Satpal Maharaj of the Congress as the victor from Pauri (Garhwal) seemed a mere formality as he had scored a lead of about 23,000 in the votes cast in the electronic voting machines against his nearest rival, outgoing MP T.P.S. Rawat of the BJP.

Leading

Counting of about 12,000 postal ballots was in progress till late in the evening.

Conceding defeat in the Lok Sabha polls from the State, Chief Minister B. C. Khanduri said he respected the verdict and would try and analyse why the saffron party got routed.

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