A day after polling concluded in the state, political heavy weights were busy in their permutations and combinations on who will emerge victorious and who will lose the battle. Most of the churning in the Congress and the BJP camps is focused on the outcome of Haridwar and Nainital Lok Sabha constituencies.
Uttrakhand chief minister Harish Rawat shows the indelible ink mark at a polling centre, in Dehradun on Wednesday. (Rishi Ballabh/HT Photo)
Chief minister Harish Rawat and his supporters started analysing the voting pattern and its likely impact on the results on Haridwar seat from Wednesday night itself. Although he is confident of winning the Haridwar Lok Sabha parliamentary seat, the CM expressed hope to sail through in Tehri as well, even as his supports informed that Pauri and Nainital constituencies are evenly poised.
According to the CM’s supporters and the Congress party leaders, the final polling percentage in Haridwar is likely to be around 73%, with maximum votes in seven assembly constituencies bordering Uttar Pradesh. These are also the constituencies with a large Muslim and Dalit electorate.
The Congress leaders and party workers are pinning their hopes here mainly because of the voting trend where 90% Muslim voters were polarised in favour of Congress candidate Renuka Rawat.
However, the CM himself was not willing go by this theory alone. He claimed that Haridwar, cutting across caste and communal lines, expressed their confidence in the Congress. “Contrary to the general belief, high polling percentage in Haridwar was for good governance by the state government. The majority has gone in favour of the Congress,” said Rawat.
However, his former party colleague and arch rival Satpal Maharaj did not agree with the Congress view on Haridwar. According to Maharaj, BJP candidate and former CM Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has an edge over his Congress rival. “Haridwar witnessed more than 10% rise in polling percentage as compared to the 2009 LS polls. It is not only because of Muslim votes, but others as well.
The BJP has succeeded in getting substantial number of Dalit votes, which are likely to be the deciding factor,” said Maharaj.
The turncoat ex-Congress leader was also confident about the saffron party’s victory in Tehri as well. Assembly segments in the hills also witnessed a rise in polling, indicating that the BJP candidate’s lead would go up by almost double than the last time, Maharaj said.
Maharaj stated that a similar trend prevailed in Nainital-Udhamsing Nagar parliamentary segment as well, and BJP candidate Bhagat Singh Koshyari would win here. “This was the anti-incumbency against the state government,” added Maharaj. However, the Congress leaders are confident of winning Nainital-Udhamsing Nagar constituency also, as it witnessed the same voting pattern as Haridwar, taking the final polling to more than 70%.
Muslims and Dalits are now the deciding factors in Nainital Lok Sabha constituency.