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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Independents, regional parties in Uttarakhand seek to register identity through polls

From the 20 Independent candidates contesting the general elections in Uttarakhand this time, some have already been in the battlefield before. However, their defeat hasn’t bogged them down.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 17:02 IST
Nitika Kakkar
Nitika Kakkar
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Sardar Khan (left) and Brahm Dev Jha are contesting the Lok Sabha elections as Independent candidates from the Tehri seat in Uttarakhand.
Sardar Khan (left) and Brahm Dev Jha are contesting the Lok Sabha elections as Independent candidates from the Tehri seat in Uttarakhand. (HT Photos)
         

While the Lok Sabha elections in Uttarakhand have been a bipolar affair between the Congress and the BJP, this does not discourage Independent candidates and unrecognised regional parties from trying their luck.

From the 20 Independent candidates contesting the general elections this time, some have already been in the battlefield before. However, their defeat hasn’t bogged them down.

Brahm Dev Jha, a Supreme Court lawyer, contested from Tehri constituency and got 1,554 votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Contesting from the same constituency again, he is confident of a better performance.

“Last elections, I could not give enough time to the campaigning process, but this time I will put in more time and effort and I’m sure I will get public support,” Jha said. He said it was important to have an educated representative in parliament.

“The Tehri constituency has areas which are known to be a bastion of educated people. The representative of such a constituency should also be a well-educated individual who is aware of the local problems and can solve them. I have done MBA, MCA and LLB and I’m the candidate with the highest education qualification amongst all those contesting from Uttarakhand,” Jha said.

Sardar Khan had filed his nomination for the 2014 general elections from Haridwar constituency. However, his nomination was cancelled by what he alleges was “a political conspiracy”. Khan is contesting as an Independent candidate from Tehri this time.

“Development, unemployment and corruption are the main issues I am going to raise during these elections. Leaders of Congress and BJP forget the people who elected them once they become members of Parliament. As a common man, I am aware of the common man’s issues and that is what I will work towards,” Khan said.

Khan has contested three assembly elections and two urban local body (ULB) polls as a mayoral candidate. In 2018 ULB elections, where he contested for the post of Dehradun Mayor, he got 2,075 votes in his kitty.

Many independents are trying their luck for the first time. Madhu Shah decided to enter the political fray due to the red-tapism in the government system. “To get any minor work done, a person has to jump through hoops in any government office. There is so much red-tapism and bureaucracy that it becomes a big headache for everyone involved. The senior citizens and disabled are the ones who suffer the most through this,” said the 38-year-old.

The biggest elections in the country also give rise to unrecognised regional parties. One such party is Uttarakhand Pragatisheel Party, with its founder Sanjay Kundaliya contesting the polls for the first time from Tehri.

“In other states, regional parties give strong competition to national parties but here, the one regional party, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, has failed miserably,”said Kundaliya.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: All you need to know about Uttarakhand

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 16:47 IST