Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and state Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay are among the senior leaders figured in the party’s first list of 63 candidates released on Sunday for the upcoming assembly elections in the hill state.
Rawat will contest from two seats-- Haridwar Rural and Kichha. Upadhyay is fielded from Sahapsur, adjoining Dehradun city.
All 26 Congress legislators found place in the party list that also included 10 new faces.
Journalist-turned- politician Manoj Rawat has been nominated from Kedarnath assembly constituency, where BJP has fielded former Congress MLA Shailarani Rawat.
Among other fresh faces, Nawal Kishor got tickets from Pauri, Himanshu Bijalwan from Narendra Nagar, Shish Pal Singh from Jwalapur in Haridwar, Pradeep Pal Singh from Didihat, Ganga Pachauli from Salt and Malti Bishwas from Sitarganj. Bhuvan Chandra Kapri and Gopal Singh will contest from Khatima and Nanakmatta assembly constituencies respectively.
From Sitarganj BJP’s nominees is Congress rebel MLA Saurav Bahuguna, son of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna.
“They (new faces) have been picked for their clean image and goodwill in their respective constituencies,” a senior Congress leader said.
Five BJP rebels too got ruling Congress’ tickets even as the party was forced to withhold announcement of nominees for the remaining seven seats following “internal squabbling.”
Uttarakhand will vote for 70 assembly constituencies in a single-phase on February 15. The counting of votes will take place on March 11.
Former BJP MLA from Roorkee Sureshchand Jain got tickets from the constituency to contest against Praddep Batra, who recently switched over to the saffron party from the Congress.
BJP’s former Kotdwar MLA Shailendra Rawat, who resigned from the party two days ago, will now contest on Congress ticket from Yamkeshwar.
Bheemlal Araya has been nominated from Ghansali and Dan Singh Bhandari from Bhimtal constituency from where he emerged victorious as BJP nominee in 2012 assembly elections. Former BJP MLA from Sahaspur got ticket from Purola assembly constituency in Uttarkashi district.
Giving ticket to Upadhyay from Sahaspur sparked strong protest with a section of party workers demanding a local candidate to contest the seat. Upadhyay is from Tehri and hence is considered as an ‘alien.’
Congress is contemplating to field sitting independent MLA and cabinet minister Dinesh Dhane on its symbol from Tehri.
Apart from Tehri, party also kept on hold naming of candidates from Raipur, Dhanolti, Jaspur, Gadarpur and two more constituencies following a request from PCC president.
Eunuch Rajani Rawat, one of the ticket seekers from Raipur assembly constituency who was denied ticket, created ruckus in Delhi on Friday, abusing Upadhyay. Following the incident, party decided to postpone the announcement of candidate from the seat.
The party planned to nominate Dehradun city Congress president Prithiviraj Chauhan from the constituency.