Eight of 11 ministers, including chief minister Harish Rawat, lost in the Uttarakhand assembly election results for which were announced on Saturday.
Three ministers -- Indira Hridayesh, Pritam Singh and Pritam Singh Panwar – were able to retain their seats as mesmerising magic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi enabled the BJP to sweep to power in the hill state.
Some Congress insiders say the ministers were bound to lose due to their poor performance as ministers while others claim that corruption charges along with the “Modi Wave” proved detrimental for the party.
Besides the chief minister, SS Negi from Kotdwar, Rajendra Bhandari from Badrinath, Navprabhat from Vikasnagar, Dinesh Agarwal from Dharampur, Mantri Prasad from Devprayag, Harishchandra Durgapal from Lalkuan and Dinesh Dhane from Tehri were other ministers who bit the dust.
Rawat lost from two constituencies - Haridwar (rural) and Kichha while this was the first defeat for forest minister Agarwal, who had won in the state’s three previous assembly elections.
“Although ‘Modi Wave’ was truth but what about workings of our own ministers. There were constant complaints against them but the CM failed to tackled this,” said a party leader wishing not be named.
Congress state unit president Kishore Upadhyay said: “Harish Rawat’s loss is not good for Uttarakhand. But public verdict is final has to be accepted. The Congress will go for assessment for its defeat in coming days but we will return with bang.”
So far, the BJP won 56 seats in the 70-member assembly. The election commission has ordered re-polling in one of the booths of Lohaghat assembly constituency. BJP candidate was leading by 148 votes till the last counting on Saturday.
The Harish Rawat cabinet had 12 ministers but minister Yashpal Arya resigned in January to join BJP.