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Uttarakhand » Politics

Posted at: Jan 15, 2017, 1:36 AM; last updated: Jan 15, 2017, 1:36 AM (IST)CONSTITUENCY WATCH: SAHASPUR

BJP looking for a hat-trick

Voter stats

  • Sahaspur has a mixof SC and Muslimpopulation
  • BJP’s Sahdev Singh Pundir is sitting MLA
  • He won by 5,490 votes in 2012
  • He polled 26,064 votes
  • Gulzar Ahmed, an Independent candidate, had divided the Congress votes, benefiting the BJP. He polled 10,000 votes.

MLA’s achievements

  • Pundir has got a forest road constructed in Dholakot gram sabha
  • A high school in Misraj gram sabha upgraded
  • Was instrumental in raising the issue of according the nagar panchayat status to Central Hopetown, which the Congress government finally took note of and granted
  • Got six small and big roads constructed in villages.
BJP looking for a hat-trick
A view of Gorakhpur village which is part of Sahaspur Assembly segment of Dehradun district.Tribune photo: Vinod Pundir

Neena Sharma

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, January 14

The Congress and the BJP had won the Sahaspur seat in the 2002 and 2007 Assembly elections, respectively. But in 2012, Sahdev Singh Pundir again won the seat for the BJP. This time, the sitting MLA will want to make it a hat-trick for the BJP and second term for himself.

In the 2002 and 2007 Assembly elections, Sahaspur was reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) but in the 2012 Assembly elections, it was declared a general category seat.

The constituency comprises 56 gram sabhas, Selaqui industrial and pharmaceutical hub, Jhajra, Sorna, Sahaspur and Jassowala of Vikasnagar, some portions of Arcadia Grant and some parts of Vikasnagar tehsil.

The people here are largely farmers and labourers. A few industrial units and pharmaceutical companies have also come up in Sahaspur, including the local Sara Industrial Estate at Shankarpur.

The constituency has a mix of SC and Muslim population, who together hold the key to victory in the elections.

In the 2012 Assembly elections, Pundir polled 26,064 votes and defeated Aryendra Sharma of the Congress, who polled 20,574 votes, by 5,490 votes. A total of 23 candidates had contested the elections. Gulzar Ahmed, an Independent candidate, had eaten into the Congress vote share, benefiting the BJP. He had polled 10,000 votes. In fact, the Congress faced rebellion in the 2002 and 2012 elections but failed to learn any lessons.

For the forthcoming elections, the Congress will have to field a strong candidate to thwart efforts to damage the prospects of its official candidate. Since the last elections, Muslims have been demanding ticket for the community member from Sahaspur. It remains to be seen if the Congress leadership relents this time and field a Muslim from here.

Pundir’s equation with the RSS has benefited him. He was first picked for the 2002 elections, which he lost, and in 2007 the BJP gave him the ticket from Vikasnagar but he lost again. In the 2012 elections, he emerged victorious from Sahaspur.

Report card of the MLA

The MLA claims to have built several roads and irrigation channels. He was also in the forefront of the campaign launched to prevent setting up of a trenching ground in Sahaspur.

“I was instrumental in getting land allotted for the construction of Sridev Suman University. The Congress government was to start classes in 2015-16 but it did not happen. Also, for the first time after Independence, Gujjars residing in Dhola Tappar have been provided solar lights and water connections during my tenure,” Pundir claimed.

Voters’ reactions

Although he has no big project to his credit, Pundir continues to have a good equation with local residents of Jhajara and nearby villages. But people blame him for keeping aloof during most of his tenure.

“We know he has less time and cannot help us in getting ration cards and government services but at least he could have passed instructions in this regard, which he did not do. We have heard the Central government is helping in building toilets in villages. He did not start the programme in our area and has been of little help,” said Ameran, a resident of Hasanpur village.

There are others who are happy with the MLA and say he has been non-controversial and helpful. “We have good roads in our area and people have got jobs in nearby factories,” said Devashish Daam, a resident of Shankarpur.

While Pundir is hopeful of getting a ticket this time too, the Congress is still deliberating on several names, including that of Chief Minister Harish Rawat and Aryendra Sharma.

QUOTES

I was instrumental in getting land allotted for the construction of Sridev Suman University after raising the issue in the Assembly. The Congress government was to start classes in the 2015-16 session but it did not happen. —Sahdev Singh Pundir, sitting BJP Legislator

We know he has less time and cannot help us in getting ration cards and other government services but at least he could have passed instructions in this regard, which he did not do. —Ameran, Resident of Hasanpur village

We have good roads in our area and people have jobs in nearby factories. —Devashish Daam, A resident of Shankarpur 

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