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Business Standard

Congress may look for a larger picture in Uttarakhand

Congress heading coalition government with support of three BSP MLAs and four independents in hill state

In 2009, had won all the five seats in Uttarakhand. But in 2014, BJP is now hoping to make a clean sweep after fielding three former chief ministers in the election.

Even in the worst scenario, Congress, which is heading a government with the support of three BSP MLAs and four independents in the hill state, can still hope for some crucial gains, independent observers say.

Well, the ruling party with the present strength of 33 members can reach the magical 35 mark in the 70-member state assembly on its own in case it wins Someshwar and Doiwala seats which will fall vacant if BJP leaders Ajay Tamta and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank win from the respective seats, they aver.

And when BJP picked former chief minister Nishank to contest from Haridwar constituency in the general election, the news might have come as music to the ears of Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

Since Nishank represents Doiwala seat in the state assembly, Rawat will also have the option to enter the Vidhan Sabha from it.

“If Nishank wins from Haridwar, then it will be easier for Harish Rawat to contest from Doiwala,” said a senior Congress leader. Interestingly, Doiwala is part of the Haridwar parliamentary constituency which was represented by Rawat in the 15th Lok Sabha.

“It is a win-win situation for both Nishank and Rawat now. Allow Nishank to enter Parliament from Haridwar and subsequently make contest for the Chief Minister easier from Doiwala,” said an observer.

The Chief Minister who was earlier seeking ticket for his daughter Anupama from Haridwar has also taken a new stand. Rawat said he would look for a suitable contestant who can beat Nishank from Haridwar. “My own family members will be the lost option,” the Chief Minister said.  

Under the constitutional obligation, Rawat must enter the Vidhan Sabha within six months of the swearing-in ceremony. Rawat had taken oath on Feb 1.

Meanwhile, Nishank played holi with Rawat on Monday here. But what exactly transpired between the two leaders was not known.

Besides Nishank, BJP in its list which was released on Saturday roped in former chief minister B C Khanduri from Pauri, another former chief minister B S Koshiyari from Nainital, Maharani Mala Rajyalakshmi Shah from Tehri and Tamta from Almora.  

Similarly, the observers said in case Congress loses Almora seat to BJP, it can still hope to win Someshwar reserved seat which in that case will have to be vacated by Tamta.

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