By our staff reporter
DEHRADUN, 1 Feb: With the conclusion of the electoral process for the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha, all political parties and candidates have now focused their sights on the outcome of the one lakh odd postal ballots of the State. A majority of these ballots are from the in–service soldiers and are scheduled to reach the counting centres by the time the actual process of counting begins in the first week of March. As in the past, these votes are expected to play a major role in deciding the final outcome of the results this time too.
It is time now for the postal ballots to arrive at the counting centres. In the past, these votes had played a major role in deciding the outcome in the case of candidates whose fate hung in balance due to a narrow margin. Of a total of 1,00,337 service voters, there are as many as 22,779 voters from the six seats of Pauri alone. The postal ballots have proved to be of immense significance as it was in 2008 parliamentary elections that TPS Rawat was declared the winner on the basis of the postal ballots cast in his favour.
This time around, there are a maximum of 5057 postal votes in the Lansdowne Assembly Constituency from where TPS Rawat is once again a candidate, while in the case of Chief Minister BC Khanduri, his constituency has only 2327 postal voters out of which the service voters are less than one thousand.
There are several instances of political parties and candidates emerging victorious on the basis of counting of the postal ballots, after tailing by a narrow margin of votes. The most interesting case is that of Om Gopal Rawat of UKD who in the last Vidhan Sabha Elections was declared winner over Congress’ Subodh Uniyal by a margin of just 4 votes.
According to the information received here, the election machinery has expedited the process of receiving these postal ballots coming from the in–service military and paramilitary personnel and the employees who were away on election duty. Even though there is still a month’s time remaining for the counting to begin, it is mandatory for the postal ballots to finally arrive at the destination here by that time.