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U'khand bypoll: Harish Rawat rules himself out of race for Pithoragarh seat

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Press Trust of India Dehradun
Putting all speculation to rest, former chief minister Harish Rawat on Thursday ruled himself out of the race for contesting from the Pithoragarh assembly seat where bypoll is to be held on November 25.
Reacting to reports about former Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyay advocating his candidature from the seat, Rawat, who is All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary at present, said both he and his party are in support of former MLA Mayukh Mahar contesting from Pithoragarh.
"We are all pitching strongly for Mayukh Mahar as our candidate. Kishore Upadhyay is an intellectual. I don't know why he suggested my name for it. However, I am not in the race," he said.
The former chief minister had described Mahar as the "best candidate" for Pithoragarh in a social media post recently and promised to campaign for him.
Given Rawat's image as the tallest party leader from the Kumaon region, a section of the party feels fielding him from the seat could be a safe bet.
The Pithoragarh seat in Kumaon fell vacant after the death of senior BJP leader Prakash Pant in June.
Commenting on the assembly poll verdicts of Maharashtra and Haryana, Rawat said if the Congress had contested the elections in these states in a bit more organised way, the results would have been completely in favour of the party.
Rawat said he was confident that the party would win the Pithoragarh seat with a big margin.
Claiming that the "winds all over the country were blowing against the BJP", Rawat said the poll verdicts in Haryana and Maharashtra were an indication.
"People have lost their jobs. The country's economy lies in shambles. In a situation like this, people are looking at the Congress once again with hope," he said.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 7:05 PM IST

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