Lok Sabha Elections 2019: For BJP’s Haridwar candidate Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, anti-incumbency remains an issue
The BJP has reaffirmed its faith in party veteran Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank by fielding him again from the Haridwar seat in the Lok Sabha election 2019.
The former chief minister of Uttarakhand had defeated his nearest rival the Congress’ Renuka Rawat by about 200,000 votes in the last Lok Sabha election held in 2014. It was a convincing victory against Rawat, the wife of Congress veteran Harish Rawat. Harish Rawat, also a former chief minister, had represented the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat before his wife’s defeat.
Nishank is considered an outsider as he hails from Pinani village in Pauri Garhwal but managed to record a convincing win from Haridwar. Part of the reason for his victory was a strong wave sweeping through the country ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favour.
Nishank’s own popularity as a mass leader was also said to be a potent reason behind the BJP leadership reposing its faith in him. However, in the years that followed, anti-incumbency set in against Nishank, as well as the state government and the Centre, prompting many of his rivals to demand a ticket from Haridwar.
Recently, the BJP’s general secretary of the Uttarakhand unit Naresh Bansal said while speaking to the media that he had also sought a ticket from Haridwar. The BJP legislator from Khanpur (Haridwar) Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion accused Nishank of neglecting Haridwar’s development and demanded that the party must give his wife Devyani Singh a ticket from Haridwar.
Nishak has denied the allegations claiming that his government carried out development work in Haridwar in five years, which eluded it in the past for more than five decades.
While the BJP veteran hopes to win the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat the second time in a row on the basis of his development initiatives, party insiders admit that anti-incumbency remains an issue.
But they are confident that Nishank will make it because of the changed public mood after Prime Minister Modi’s decision to allow airstrikes on the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan.