‘Outsiders’ put Congress, BJP on sticky wicket in Uttarakhand | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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‘Outsiders’ put Congress, BJP on sticky wicket in Uttarakhand

The Congress and BJP are taking extreme care while finialising tickets distribution with only eight days left for the nomination process to begin. Both parties have chosen Delhi as the venue to avoid intervention from ticket hopefuls.

dehradun Updated: Jan 12, 2017 19:54 IST
Nihi Sharma
PDF had supported the Congress in forming the government in 2012 and saved the Harish Rawat government in 2016 floor test.
PDF had supported the Congress in forming the government in 2012 and saved the Harish Rawat government in 2016 floor test.(HT File Photo)

The Congress and BJP are taking extreme care while finialising tickets distribution with only eight days left for the nomination process to begin. Both parties have chosen Delhi as the venue to avoid intervention from ticket hopefuls.

The Progressive Democratic Front (PDF), which had six members comprising three independents, two Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and one Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) legislator, is now left with only five after BSP MLA Hari Dass joined the Congress early this month. PDF had supported the Congress in forming the government in 2012 and saved the Harish Rawat government in 2016 floor test.

The Congress isn’t in a mood to disappoint its members especially three independents, Mantri Prasad Naithani, HC Durgapal, Dinesh Dhanai, and UKD member Pritam Singh Panwar. Insiders claim, if not given a ticket, PDF members could eat up votes in various constituencies by contesting independently or associating with the BJP.

Rawat is directly handling the matter and was in Delhi on Thursday for the core committee meeting. “Their alliance with the Congress has been significant and the national leaders along with the CM will take a favourable decision for them,” said Surendra Kumar, media spokesperson to CM.

However, Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay said, “The Congress will contest from all 70 seats.”

Dhanai had defeated Upadhyay in the last polls from Tehri. Insiders claim both want to contest from the same seat, making it difficult for the party high command to pick one unless Dhanai agrees to contest as a Congress candidate.

The BJP’s decision-making process too isn’t going to be a cake walk. Ten Congress rebels, who have joined the BJP, have an upper hand as ticket aspirants, say insiders. While the party has reported infighting, senior leaders do not want to disappoint the existing leaders.

“The rebels are now a part of the BJP and injustice will not be done to them. At the same time, party leaders have to be cautious while distributing tickets to avoid conflicts,” Kedar Joshi, state BJP vice president told HT. Those defeated by the 10 Congress rebels are also seeking tickets.