Dehradun: Accusing senior Congress leaders of running away from electoral battlefield out of the fear of being defeated, Opposition BJP in Uttarakhand on Friday said this was the reason why the ruling party had still not announced its candidates for the five Lok Sabha seats in the hill state.
“Due to their failure in tackling last year’s natural calamity in Uttarakhand, both the ruling Congress and its senior leaders are on the backfoot lacking the courage to face voters. This is why it is not announcing candidates for the five parliamentary seats in the state all of which it had won in 2009,” former Lok Sabha MP and Pradesh BJP spokesman Balraj Passi told reporters here.
Despite having three sitting MPs out of the five LS seats in the state (the party lost one to BJP in 2012 by-poll while its sitting MP from Pauri Satpal Maharaj recently defected to BJP), Congress is not announcing its candidates as “it is aware of strong anti-incumbency wave sweeping the constituencies”, he said.
On reports about Vijay Bahuguna’s reluctance to enter the fray from Tehri which he had won in the last general elections, Passi said the former chief minister had visited some of the areas of Tehri and Uttarakashi recently but had to face the ire of the people.
“People are angry with him for the failure of the government headed by him on all fronts during the crisis last year and he does not have the courage to face the electorate,” Passi said.
Bahuguna who had expressed his reluctance to contest these polls is being persuaded by the party leadership to enter the fray from Tehri, a seat which was wrested from the Congress by BJP’s Mala Rajyalaxmi Shah in a by-poll held in October 2012.