BJP banks on development, Congress on anti-incumbency in Tehri Garhwal : The Tribune India

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BJP banks on development, Congress on anti-incumbency in Tehri Garhwal

BJP banks on development, Congress on anti-incumbency in Tehri Garhwal

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Mussorie, April 17

With the Lok Sabha elections in Uttarakhand near the climax, the political landscape from the Himalayan foothills to the Terai plains, perhaps for the first time in past several years, is witnessing a tough electoral tussle for the Tehri Garhwal parliamentary seat. The constituency, which includes Tehri Garhwal, Uttarkashi and parts of Dehradun, goes to polls on April 19. There are 11 contenders from this seat but the pivotal contest emerges between arch-rivals, the BJP and the Congress. The political fervor engulfs the Himalayan heartland as Congress’ Jot Singh Gunsola takes on titular queen of the erstwhile Tehri Garhwal kingdom and the sitting MP, Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah.

3 victories in a row

  • The BJP has won this seat in 2019 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections and also 2012 bypolls. The Congress had won it in 2007 by-election and 2009 general election.
  • The seat has 15.77 lakh voters, including 7.61 lakh women.

The BJP has won this seat for the past two terms with a thumping majority as the margin of her victory increased to nearly three lakh in 2019, from 1.92 lakh in 2014 as she defeated Congress’ Pritam Singh and Saket Bahuguna, respectively. Even in the 2012, by-election, she had defeated Saket Bahuguna by a narrow margin of 22,000 votes. The Congress had won this seat in 2007 by-election and 2009 general election.

Intriguingly, independent candidate Babbi Panwar, backed by the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, endeavors to carve a niche in both the BJP and the Congress vote banks. Panwar is backed by the Uttarakhand Unemployed Association.

Even, the BJP launched an intensive campaign as party’s national president JP Nadda and UP CM Yogi Adityanath rallied support for Mala. Even the PM also addressed a rally in the nearby town of Rishikesh.

Out of the 14 Assembly constituencies under the Tehri-Gharwal parliamentary constituency, BJP had won 11 in 2022 Assembly elections while the Congress could win only two, and the Yamunotri seat was won by an independent, who later extended support to the BJP government. But in a setback to the Congress its key star campaigners failed to turn up in the hill-state, which sends five MPs to the Lok Sabha.

As national issues intertwine with local concerns, the voter sentiments remain undisclosed, awaiting the electoral denouement.

The BJP is banking over the development brought to the region, especially under the Char Dham Yatra project, but unemployment, exodus of youths for jobs, Agniveer scheme and recruitment scams involving a BJP leader are the key challenges the BJP is facing. The Congress banks on anti-incumbency.

The demographic landscape of Tehri reveals shifting political dynamics, with many former Congress loyalists crossing over to BJP ranks. The seat's evolution poses challenges for Congress, countered by BJP's strategic mobilisation at the grassroots.

Looking at the social composition of this seat, Rajputs, Brahmins and Vaishyas constitute nearly 49%, 24% and 5% of the population, respectively, SCs 18%, STs 6% while Muslims are 4%.

The seat has 15.77 lakh voters, including 7.61 lakh women.

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#BJP #Congress #Lok Sabha #Uttarakhand


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