With many tall leaders from the incumbent government and the Opposition parties on the line in the Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, some big names crumbled including sitting Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and former chief minister Harish Rawat as the leaders lost their respective seats. The BJP has won the Assembly polls for the second consecutive term bagging 47 seats while the Congress which was expecting a return at the office had to confront a crushing defeat as the party was reduced to 18 seats with leading on one seat, according to the Election Commission trends at 10.40 pm.
The biggest setback for the BJP came in the form of the loss of its chief minister Puskar Singh Dhami to Congress’ Bhuwan Chandra Kapri by 6,579 votes. Kapri bagged 48,177 votes with a vote share of 51.89 per cent while Dhami got 41,598 votes with a 44.8 per cent vote share. Another senior leader that suffered defeat was Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat who lost to BJP’s Mohan Singh Bisht by 17,527 votes. Rawat had initially decided to contest from Ramnagar seat in Nainital district. This is the second consecutive defeat of Rawat in two Assembly polls. He had lost in Haridwar (Rural) in the 2017 elections.
Col Ajay Kothiyal (retd), chief ministerial candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party which is contesting for the first time in the state, also lost to BJP’s Suresh Singh Chauhan on the Gangotri seat. Kothiyal got 6,161 votes with a vote share of 10.33 per cent while Chauhan won with a massive vote share of 49.66 per cent and got 29,619 votes. In the Tehri seat, Congress’ Dhan Singh Negi, who won the seat as BJP candidate in 2017, was defeated by Kishore Upadhyay, who joined the BJP ahead of the elections by 13,417 votes. Negi secured 13.64 per cent votes while Upadhyay got 42.31 votes.
Anukriti Gusain, the daughter-in-law of former Uttarakhand Minister Harak Singh Rawat, was defeated by BJP’s Daleep Singh Rawat by a margin of 9,868 votes. Gusain got 14,636 votes with a vote share of 35.35 per cent while Rawat secured 24,504 votes with a vote share of 59.18 per cent. What came as another jolt to the BJP in the polls was the defeat of cabinet minister Yatishwaranand who was defeated by Anupama Rawat, Harish Rawat’s daughter by a margin of 4,472 votes. Rawat secured 50,028 votes with a 46.59 per cent vote share while Yatishwaranand got 45,556 votes with a 42.42 per cent vote share.
Congress’ Sanjeev Arya, son of former cabinet minister Yashpal Arya who joined Congress ahead of the elections, lost to BJP’s Sarita Arya who got 31,770 votes with a 52.19 per cent vote share. Sanjeev got 23,889 votes with a 39.24 vote share.