Why Uttarakhand matters for the BJP and Congress | assembly-elections | Hindustan Times
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Why Uttarakhand matters for the BJP and Congress

assembly elections Updated: Feb 15, 2017 13:27 IST
Prithviraj Singh & Deep Joshi
BJP president Amit Shah at a public meeting at Bauradi Stadium, New Tehri in Uttarakhand.

BJP president Amit Shah at a public meeting at Bauradi Stadium, New Tehri in Uttarakhand.(PTI Photo)

For BJP

1. Losing Uttarakhand would mean allowing Congress to retain the state, which has seen the BJP and Congress rule alternately since its formation in 2000

2. Winning would help BJP strengthen its numbers in Rajya Sabha. Being in minority in the Upper House of Parliament has restricted the BJP-led Centre from enacting crucial laws

3. Since BJP is on a sticky wicket in Utttar Pradesh, where it has been hoping to get the numbers from, Uttarakhand becomes all the more crucial for the party

4. For BJP, Uttarakhand is a key Hindu bastion, as the ‘holy river’ Ganga originates from the region, which also happens to be the base of the fabled Char dham shrines and it will make all efforts to win over the mass base

5. The party also wants to have its political sway over the state as it shares its borders with China and Nepal

For Congress

1. A win could boost the morale of Congress, whose presence is diminishing across the country

2. Besides retaining the state, it would also show that its popularity was on the rise since complete decimation in 2014 Lok Sabha polls at the hands of Narendra Modi-led BJP

3. Uttarakhand is one of the few northern states in the country where Congress is in power. Himachal Pradesh is the other state. A loss could help the BJP unseat it Himachal which goes to polls later in the year

4. The Congress leadership backed chief minister Harish Rawat when senior leaders revolted against him. It again reposed faith in him to lead the polls. A loss could dampen its calculations

5. At 69, Harish Rawat’s political career hinges on the polls. His claims of bringing development to the state and out of the crisis post 2013 disaster, will be put to test