Uttarakhand Lok Sabha polls: Why is Haridwar so important for Harish Rawat?

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Dehradun: Congress’s veteran leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat is in a new role nowadays. Rawat is successful in getting a ticket from the Congress party for his younger son to contest from Haridwar parliamentary seat. Rawat was elected to the Lok Sabha from this seat in 2009. Now Harish can be seen in the role of a charioteer of his son’s election campaign, assuring voters for Virendra’s good performance.

Haridwar contest can be a litmus test for Rawat

In the 2022 assembly elections, the Congress sprang a surprise by winning five assembly seats, which are part of the Haridwar LS constituency, despite the wave in favour of BJP in the state. So, Haridwar is equally significant for Harish Rawat and his party Congress. While Congress sees the chances of its revival from Haridwar, Rawat has selected this constituency to launch his son into politics. Rawat originally belongs to Kumaon’s Almora and Haridwar is in Garhwal region. Harish has been continuously active in the Haridwar Lok Sabha constituency for a long time. Now, Haridwar can be a litmus test for the duo- the father and the son. As BJP’s nominee, former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat is trying his luck to enter the Lok Sabha for the first time from this seat.

Wife and daughter both tried their luck from Haridwar

Although Harish Rawat was elected to Lok Sabha from Almora seat for three terms (1980-1991), he tasted defeats from this seat in 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 2009, Harish Rawat headed to Haridwar after Almora was put into the reserved category seat. Haridwar seat helped his revival in politics and he won it in 2009. In 2014 LS polls, Congress fielded Harish Rawat’s wife Renuka Rawat from Haridwar. However, she faced a crushing defeat. Later, Harish tried his luck in 2017 assembly elections from Haridwar Rural seat and he faced defeat. But his defeat could not disenchant him from Haridwar. His daughter Anupma Rawat won Haridwar rural seat to enter the state assembly for the first time in 2022. Now, Rawat is using the same launchpad for his younger son Virendra Rawat.

Charioteer of Virendra’s election campaign

The Congress party has fielded new faces on four LS seats of the state, except Pradeep Tamta who is a former MP on Almora seat. In Haridwar, Virendra Rawat is also a new face who wants to inherit his father’s political legacy. Therefore, political analysts opine that the son is appearing in the examination but results will show the report card of his father. So, Harish Rawat is spending sleepless nights while campaigning in Haridwar to woo voters. Hence, experienced and powerful politician Harish Rawat is now the charioteer of the election campaign.

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