Election results in Uttarakhand showed extreme margins in some constituencies with nine BJP candidates winning by a whopping margin of more than 20,000 votes, while contestants in four seats were locked in a photo finish with the victory margin being less than 1000 votes.
Nine BJP leaders underlined the saffron wave in the hill state by registering a record win by more than 20,000 votes as the party bagged 56 seats in the 70-member House. Leading the list is former Congress rebel Umesh Sharma ‘Kau’ who recorded the most thumping electoral victory in the state by defeating Congress’ Prabhulal Bahuguna by 36,771 votes. “I’m very grateful to the people of Raipur who blessed me with a historic win,” an elated Sharma said.
He was followed by Madan Kaushik from Haridwar (35,927 votes), Saurabh Bahuguna (Sitarganj, 28,450 votes), Naveen Dumka (Lalkuan, 27,108 votes), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Doiwala, 24,869 votes), Rajkumar Thukral (Rudrapur, 24,771 votes), Adesh Chauhan (BHEL Ranipur, 22,240 votes), Banshidhar Bhagat (Kaladhungi, 20,597 votes) and Harbhajan Singh Cheema (Kashipur, 20,114 votes).
Indira Hridayesh strongest in Congress
On the other hand, most of the 11 Congress candidates who succeeded in the elections won by relatively lower margins. However, senior leader Indira Hridayesh - who had recorded the highest victory margin (23,583 votes) in the state in 2012 polls - still emerged the strongest leader in the party by defeating BJP’s Jogendra Rautela with over 6,557 votes. “Delusion got the better of development this time in Uttarakhand,” a visibly disturbed Hridayesh, who was a cabinet minister in the Harish Rawat government, said while referring to the “false hopes” given by the BJP scoring over “development works” by her party’s government.
Photo finish for four
But the BJP did not have a dream run everywhere. Locked in a very close fight, two of its leaders Rekha Arya in Someshwar and Meena Gangola in Gangolihat won by barely 710 and 805 votes respectively. Similarly, two Congress leaders - Govind Kunjwal in Jageshwar and Manoj Rawat in Kedarnath won by just 399 and 869 votes respectively.
Political experts feel that more than one factor may have been at play behind these dramatic results. “Not just a wave in favour of a party, but also factors like the popularity of individual candidates, difference in population density in constituencies, voters’ turnout in areas as well as a straight contest on many seats could have been behind these extreme results,” said Jay Singh Rawat, a Dehradun-based political analyst.