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Pure Politics

india Updated: Jan 19, 2012 13:45 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times
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Devprayag lies at the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda, which together, form the mighty Ganga.

It is also believed to be the site of meditation by Rama and has a unique place in Hindu mythology. Devprayag priests have traditionally been 'teerth purohits' of Badrinath.

As interesting as its history is the political fight in the region this time. People of the area have traditionally voted for personalities rather than parties. This is demonstrated by the fact that Vidyasagar Nautiyal of the CPI has held the seat in the past, as have three of the contenders this time-Diwakar Bhatt of the BJP, independent candidate Mantri Prasad Naithani and Shoorveer Sajwan of the Congress. What makes the election even more competitive is that BJP rebel Mahipal Butola has queered the pitch this time. There were 12 BJP contenders for the seat, but the party gave the ticket to Diwakar Bhatt.

History of Devprayag
The Devprayag came into existence in 1951 and was first represented by freedom fighter Prem Lal Vaidya.

Satte Singh Rana of the party set up by the king of Tehri won in the second election. Martyr Sridev Suman's wife Vinay Lakshmi Suman was the first women MLA of Uttarakhand and was elected twice from Devprayag.

Indra Mani Badoni won on the Congress ticket from this seat and later represented the area as an independent candidate. The seat was later held by Govind Prasad Gairola and Vidyasagar Nautiyal of the CPI.

Later, Devprayag was represented by Shoorveer Sajwan of the Congress, Mantri Prasad Naithani in 1989and Matbar Singh Kandari in 1991. Kandari held the seat thrice.
Mantri Prasad Naithani won again in 2002 and Diwakar Bhatt in the 2007 elections.

Main aspirants
Main contenders this time round are Diwakar Bhatt (BJP), Shoorveer Singh Sajwan (Congress), Billeshwar Jhaldiyal (RLD), Raghunandan Pandey (Shiv Sena), Jai Krishna Bhatt (BSP), Jai Prakash Upadhyay (UKD-P), Maipal Butola (Independent), Mantri Prasad Naithani (Independent)