DEHRADUN: Gairsain dominated the last day of poll campaigning on Tuesday in Karnaprayag where both BJP and Congress leaders accused each other of cheating the people on the emotive demand of a permanent capital.
Leading the Congress’ campaign, chief minister Harish Rawat addressed four public meetings at Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag, Gochar and Gairsain. The Harish Rawat-led Congress government had built a Vidhan Sabha Bhawan in Garsain. The Congress hopes Gairsain issue will get it electoral mileage in Karnaprayag.
BJP state president Ajay Bhatt and former chief ministers Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank led the BJP’s charge, addressed public meetings at Karnaprayag, Roheda and Gairsain, and participated in road shows.“Our other top state leaders have already participated in the poll campaign.” Bhatt said, referring to former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and BJP national executive member Satpal Maharaj. Among its central leaders, national vice-president Shyam Jaju participated in the campaigning for Karnaprayag. “There was no point in calling central leaders for campaigning in one assembly seat.”
Both Congress and BJP claimed a clear win from Karnaprayag. Rawat had hinted that Congress would get electoral mileage from his decision of setting up the Vidhan Sabha Bhawan at Gairsain, a part of his roadmap for development in that hill town. Rawat accused BJP of being ‘confused’ on Gairsain and claimed he had already started executing his development plan for the hill town.
But BJP accused Rawat of ‘cheating’ the people. “We asked him (Rawat) on the floor of the House during an assembly session at Gairsain if he had planned to develop it as a permanent capital or a summer capital but he had no answer,” Bhatt said.
He alleged that the Congress election manifesto was also completely silent on the formation of a permanent capital. Bhatt added the scant response the chief minister’s public meetings drew at Gairsain, flew in the face of the latter’s claim.
BJP is banking on ‘Modi magic’ for a win in Karnaprayag, which forms a part of the Charcham. “Besides, two projects, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi released funds, will pay us huge electoral dividends,” BJP state general secretary (organisation) Sanjay Kumar said, referring to the Rs 12,000 crore Chardham all-weather road network and the Rs 16,200 crore Rishikesh-Karnaprayag railway projects.