Uttarakhand LS polls: A total of 63 candidates in fray, political equations may change on LS seats

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Dehradun: Apart from nominees of BJP and Congress, several independent candidates as well as nominees of different regional parties have also filed their nomination papers to contest the 2024 LS polls from the five LS seats of the state. The presence of independent candidates and nominees of regional parties may affect the prospects of the state’s both main political players -the BJP and the Congress. However, the real political equations in five Lok Sabha would be known only after the end of the last date for the withdrawal of nomination papers on 30th March.

A look at the political battlefields of all the five LS seat after the end of filing of nomination papers

Haridwar: Although all the LS five seats are set to witness a tough battle between BJP and Congress, Haridwar parliamentary seat presents a different political picture after the end of last date for filing nomination papers.

In Haridwar, the prestige of two former CMs is at stake. Former chief minister and BJP’s candidate Trivendra Singh Rawat is in contest with former chief minister Harish Rawat’s son Virendra Rawat. BSP’s Jameel Ahmed Qasmi may be a threat to both the candidates in Haridwar as BSP targets the SC-Muslim votes in the constituency. Independent MLA from Khanpur Umesh Kumar has also filed his nomination papers to contest from this seat. A total 21 candidates are in fray on Haridwar seat as things stand today.

Tehri Garhwal: A total 11 candidates have filed their nomination papers to contest from the Tehri Garhwal seat in which Dehradun city falls. While BJP nominee Mala Rajya Lakshmi Shah is trying her luck to enter the Lok Sabha for the third consecutive term from this high-profile seat, Congress has fielded former MLA Jot Singh Gunsola as its candidate. The most surprising name is a young face Bobby Panwar who has filed his nomination paper as an independent candidate from this seat. Bobby, who is supported by the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD), is president of Uttarakhand Unemployed Youths. A large crowd, which gathered at the time of filing his nomination papers, may become a cause of concern for both the BJP and Congress. Democratic People’s Party of India has also fielded Rampal Singh as its candidate from Tehri Lok Sabha seat.

Pauri Garhwal: Total 13 candidates have filed their nomination papers for contesting from Pauri Garhwal seat. The initial picture which emerges in this seat shows that this seat is likely to see a direct contest between the BJP’s nominee and the party’s high-profile leader Anil Baluni and Congress’ candidate Ganesh Godiyal, former president of the Uttarakhand Congress committee. While Godiyal has a good reach in Srinagar Garhwal area, the decision of Badrinath MLA Rajendra Bhandari to quit Congress and subsequently join the BJP may affect the prospect of the Congress party in this seat. Badrinath assembly constituency is the part of Pauri Garhwal parliamentary seat. The UKD has made Ashutosh Negi as its candidate for the Pauri seat. Journalist Ashutosh Negi was recently in the news for raising the issue of the Ankita Bhandari murder case. With Ashutosh Negi filing his nomination papers, the election in Pauri Garhwal seat is going to be interesting.

Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar: Total 10 candidates have filed their nomination papers for contesting from this seat of the state’s Kumaon region. Like Pauri Garhwal seat, this seat may witness a direct contest between BJP’s nominee Ajay Bhatt, who is union minister of state for defense, and Congress’ nominee Prakash Joshi. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded a Muslim face Akhtar Ali Mahigir from this seat. Ali, who has been associated with BSP since 1984, is the party’s old horse.

Almora-Pithoragarh: A total 8 candidates have filed their nomination papers for contesting from this seat which is reserved for the SCs. The familiar faces of Congress and BJP are once again in the fray in this seat. While BJP has fielded its sitting MP Ajay Tamta, Congress has made its choice in its old horse Pradeep Tamta as its nominee for this seat. This LS seat will witness “Tamta vs Tamta” for the fourth time.

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