By Arun Pratap Singh
Champawat, 30 May: All is set for the Assembly bypoll in Champawat to be held tomorrow. In view of the bypoll, Champawat’s borders have been sealed including the international Indo-Nepal Border. The police and the security forces as well as the polling parties have already reached their destinations in preparation for the poll.
As the formal campaigning for the assembly poll came to an end, last evening, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who is the BJP candidate from here, today undertook door to door campaigning, which is allowed on the last day before the elections. He went about the door to door campaign on a motorbike which he himself rode with former MLA Kailash Gehtodi as his pillion rider. He was accompanied by his supporters. Because of the fact that a sitting Chief Minister is contesting the by-poll from Champawat, it has become a hot seat, otherwise, so far, in 22 years of the state’s history, it has never been represented in the council of ministers. Now it has a chance to be represented by the Chief Minister. It may be recalled that Champawat was the capital of the famous Chand dynasty of Kumaon region for a very long time.
Dhami is contesting against Nirmala Gahatodi of the Congress. Nirmala Gahatodi is fighting a rather tough battle being up against a sitting CM. Five time Congress candidate and two-time MLA Hemesh Kharkwal refused to contest, possibly because of the tough battle ahead. He has lost two times in a row to Kailash Gehtodi of BJP. Kharkwal is considered to be close to veteran Congress leader Harish Rawat.
Despite all the uncertainties of the election, there is not much doubt about the result. However, having lost his last election from Khatima, Chief Minister Dhami this time chosen to take the campaign very seriously and gave a lot of time to the constituency after the election was declared. He stayed in the constituency for several days at the fag end of the campaign. Not only this, Dhami also managed to rope in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to campaign for him. On Sunday, he had held road shows and rallies along with Yogi Adityanath. It may be pointed out here that, Yogi Adityanath, a native of Pauri district is a hugely popular leader in Uttarakhand. Having lost the last election, Dhami’s efforts seem to be aimed at creating history in the by-election by winning with a huge margin.
Champawat has a total of 96, 213 voters including 46,042 women and 50,171 men. People are hoping for rapid development in the constituency with the Chief Minister as its representative. The common people may not want to let go of the dream opportunity of being represented by the CM, by virtue of which this has become a VIP constituency.