Home Dehradun Veerendra Rawat to contest from Haridwar on Cong ticket, Prakash Joshi from Nainital

Veerendra Rawat to contest from Haridwar on Cong ticket, Prakash Joshi from Nainital

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Veerendra Rawat
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 23 Mar: Just three days remain for the nominations for the first phase of Parliamentary elections but the Congress has been unable to declare its candidates on Haridwar and Nainital constituencies in spite of the fact that Uttarakhand will vote in the first phase of the elections itself with polling to be held on 19 April in the state. Among all the 5 parliamentary seats in Uttarakhand, Congress stands better chance to perform well in Haridwar and Nainital seats. The reason is the relatively higher percentage of Muslim and Dalit voters on these two constituencies. Haridwar district has a population of over 33 percent Muslims but the Parliamentary seats also has three assembly segments from Dehradun district which balances out the Muslim population to around 25 percent in the constituency. The Haridwar parliamentary constituency has 14 assembly segments, 11 of which are from Haridwar district. It also has a significant population of around 20 percent Dalit votes, a significant portion of which have shifted to BJP from BSP in past few elections. OBC voters form around 38 percent of the population.
Prakash Joshi

Based on these factors, Congress hopes to perform better here as compared to other seats due to its Muslim appeasement politics. Another factor that Congress can hope to go in its favour is the performance of the party in 2022 assembly elections when it managed to win 5 seats out of 14 while 6  are held by BJP, 1 by independent and 2 by BSP.  However, it is not that easy for the party still. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP’s Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had won the seat with a margin of over 2 lakhs votes defeating his nearest rival Ambrish Kumar of Congress. Modi magic and Modi factor have not waned in the state or in the country.

This is one reason why Congress has been unable to decide its candidate from Haridwar. It has been pressurising veteran party leader Harish Rawat to contest but Rawat is seeking Congress ticket for his son Veerendra Rawat. If unconfirmed reports are to be believed, Harish Rawat has more or less managed to convince the party high command to give ticket to his son Veerendra Rawat from Haridwar whereas the party is very likely to announce former MP Mahendra Pal from NainitalNainital seat also has around 19 to 20 percent Muslim votes. Some of the assembly segments like Haldwani are such which have a strong Congress base.