Weakened by large-scale defections and the challenge from disappointed ticket seekers within the party contesting as independents, Congress failed to withstand the onslaught of a Modi wave in Uttarakhand Assembly polls getting evicted from power with just 11 seats.
Five rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi mobilised massive support for the BJP which scripted history bagging 56 of the 70 seats. Congress’ rout at the hands of the BJP in Uttarakhand is being attributed by poll watchers to the rebellions during Harish Rawat’s tenure which saw many party stalwarts deserting it one after another.
While desertions by them left the Congress in shambles, their defection to the BJP ahead of the polls worked as a shot in the arm for the saffron party.
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12 tall Congress turncoats or their wards contested the assembly elections in the state as BJP candidates and barring two all of them reaped rich electoral harvests to power the party to a massive victory.
Vijay Bahuguna’s son Saurav Bahuguna was fielded by BJP from his father’s constituency of Sitarganj from where he won by 28,450 votes.
Similarly, Yashpal Arya’s son Sanjeev was fielded by the party from Nainital which he won by 7,247 votes.
Former PCC chief and a big dalit leader from Kumaon region Yashpal Arya who joined the BJP shortly before the elections also scored an impressive victory from Bajpur.
Kunwar Paranav Singh Champion, Subodh Uniyal, Harak Singh Rawat, Pradeep Batra, Umesh Sharma Kau and Rekha Arya all won from their respective seats to further swell the BJP’s tally.
PCC president Kishore Upadhaya himself fell a victim to the resentment caused within a section of the party after denial of tickets as he lost the Sahaspur seat to BJP which got the advantage of Upadhaya’s former party colleague Aryendra Sharma being in the fray as an Independent.
To top it all, even Chief Minister Harish Rawat lost both the seats he contested in these elections.