Congress faces uphill battle in Uttarakhand : The Tribune India

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Congress faces uphill battle in Uttarakhand

Congress faces uphill battle in Uttarakhand


Tribune News Service

Neeraj Mohan

New Delhi, March 21

The Congress party in Uttarakhand finds itself in turbulent waters as it grapples with a wave of defections in the run-up to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Once a dominant force in the hill state, the Congress now faces significant challenges in reclaiming its lost territories amidst internal discord and a resolute BJP.

Desertions mount ahead of elections

Congress’ decline began in 2014, when the BJP swept all the five seats and in 2017, the saffron party won the state Assembly election with a thumping majority, winning 57 seats in the House of 71 members, leaving the Congress with only 11 seats.

Since 2009, when the grand old party had won all the five seats, it has failed to open its account in the past two elections, as the party candidates in a straight fight with the BJP faced defeat by huge margins. Even in 2019, the victory margin in all seats remained 20 to 40 per cent. Congress’ decline began in 2014, when the BJP swept all the five seats and in 2017, the saffron party won the state assembly election with a thumping majority, winning 57 seats in the house of 71 members, leaving the Congress with only 11 seats. Recently, Congress’ Badrinath MLA Rajendra Singh Bhandari had left the party to join the ruling BJP. Bhandari held ministerial posts during the two previous terms from 2007 to 2017.

Several senior Congress leaders in the state recently parted ways with the party, marking a significant shift in political alignments. Among the notable figures who have chosen to sever ties with the grand old party are Naval Kishore, former chief of Vikas Block Kot, and a former state executive member of Congress. Additionally, Deepak Kuksal, who previously served as the Pauri block chief, has also opted to depart from the Congress ranks. The exodus includes former Gangotri MLA Vijay Pal Sajwan and former Purola MLA Malchand, both of whom have tendered their resignations from the primary membership of the Congress, giving a jolt to the party in Tehri Lok Sabha seat. Moreover, Anukriti Gusain, the daughter-in-law of Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat and a prominent face within the party, tendered her resignation on Saturday, adding to the growing list of departures. Kesar Singh Negi, the former district panchayat president of Congress from Pauri, also recently announced his resignation from the party, further highlighting the trend of senior leaders distancing themselves from the Congress fold.

Besides, the Congress is also struggling to recover from the group-ism and internal bickering in the state as the party leaders are divided into factions of Harak Singh Rawat and Harish Rawat.

On the other front, the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand is gearing up to maintain its stronghold by aiming to secure all five Lok Sabha constituencies for the third consecutive term.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Congress #Lok Sabha #Uttarakhand


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