The quaintly named ‘Devbhoomi’ (land of the gods), the hilly region of Uttarakhand that lies just before the Himalaya mountains, has voted massively in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). So much so, it has humiliated the Congress and its Chief Minister Harish Rawat completely, a drubbing that is unprecedented. The credit, as far as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is concerned goes to none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been successful enough in cutting through the traditional 50-50 mandate the state is known for – it usually votes in a party with wafer thin majority and there is always a threat to the new government from turncoats and rebels who may opt leave. This time, there is no such danger due likely to happen to the new BJP government due to the Modi magic touch. It transpires that Uttarakhand has voted overwhelmingly saffron – BJP is leading Congress 56-12. This kind of decisive mandate has never been seen in Uttarakhand before.
The enormity of the situation becomes clear from the drubbing of Congress leader and current chief minister Harish Rawat. He fought the assembly elections from 2 seats – Kachhi and Haridwar (Rural), but went on to lose from both. This more than anything else shows how significant the loss of support for the party has been. This is perhaps the first time that a sitting CM has lost in this mortifying manner.
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Not just that, Congress rebels have done well even as the loyalists have been losing their seats. And worse of all, those who deserted the party to join the BJP and had then tried to bring down the Rawat government (unsuccessfully as it turned out a year or so ago) have done rather well for themselves. Take the case of the former Congressman and former chief minister who joined the BJP, Vijay Bahuguna. If the counting goes according to the current trend, then Bahuguna’s son Sourabh, who is contesting from Sitarganj is likely to end up winning the seat. Lesson: If you belong to the Congress, then you are out, in Uttarakhand – the winning margins by the BJP are proof enough.