BJP seeks to snatch Pauri constituency from Congress
Pauri, an assembly constituency reserved for SC in 2012 in place of adjourning Srinagar segment, is a Congress stronghold since Uttarakhand’s formation in 2000dehradun Updated: Jan 05, 2017 16:52 IST
Pauri, an assembly constituency reserved for SC in 2012 in place of adjourning Srinagar segment, is a Congress stronghold since Uttarakhand’s formation in 2000. The BJP, however, wants to wrest the seat from the ruling party in the ensuing assembly poll.
In the hill state’s first assembly poll in 2002, Congress nominee Narendra Singh Bhandari defeated BJP’s Teerath Singh Rawat by nearly 733 votes.
In 2007, Independent candidate Yashpal Benam emerged victorious over Rawat with just 11 votes. In 2012, Congress candidate Sundar Lal Mandarwal beat Ghananand of the BJP 2,906 votes.
Although age is not on his side, sitting MLA Mandarwal, 78, is banking on his image as an honest legislator and one who worked hard for road network in the constituency to get Congress nomination again.
Political analysts say the Congress has no other option but to renominate Mandarwal, who entered the state assembly for the first time in 2002 from Srinagar (then reserved for SC) by defeating BJP’s Brijmohan Kotwal by 1,637 votes. He, however, lost to Kotwal in 2007 by 3,000 votes from the seat.
“I have spent my entire MLA LAD fund for developing roads and drinking water facilities in the constituency. Besides, work on stalled projects resumed during my tenure,” Mandarwal said.
The BJP, however, has three ticket aspirants -- candidate in the last state poll Ghananand, former Srinagar MLA Kotwal and Mukesh Koli. They are leaving no stone unturned to get party nomination from Pauri.
The BJP is highlighting alleged indifferent attitude of the Harish Rawat government towards Pauri. BJP state unit spokesperson Virendra Singh Bisht said the opposition party would certainly wrest the constituency from the Congress this time.
“The Harish Rawat government has not harness the potential of Pauri as important tourist destination. Leave aside the corruption in the Congress government, they have failed to run the commissioner’s office from here. Garhwal commissioner, who has a camp office in Pauri, seldom sits here.
“Pauri is bearing the brunt of indifferent attitude of the state government and Congress MLA has failed to salvage the situation. The MLA must tell the people as to what has the state government has given to Pauri,” said Bisht.
Notably, Pauri’s electorate size increased from nearly 62,000 to 85,182 in 2012 after the 2008 delimitation of assembly constituencies. The hill state will hold election to the 70-member state assembly early this year.