More than 74 lakh votes have sealed the fate of around 628 candidates as 69 out of 70 assembly seats in Uttarakhand went for polls in a single phase elections on February 15. There was an unprecedented enthusiasm seen among the electorates with a record voter turnaround of 68 per cent this year. Polling happened across 13 districts including 7 in Garhwal region and 6 in Kumaon region of the state. The Assembly polls in the hill state is touted to be a two-way contest between the ruling Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Congress seems to be struggling in terms of development and governance, whereas the BJP is all guns and have claimed to unseat chief minister Harish Rawat government, which is battling corruption charges. Out of the total 70 constituencies in the state, 1 constituency – Karnaprayag will vote on March 9 because of the sudden death of a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Kuldeep Singh Kanwasi.
While many political bigwigs are seen taking the centre stage, the presence of about a dozen of independent candidates in the fray might upset the calculations of the polls. Both Congress and the BJP have seen conflicts within their parties as several party leaders were denied tickets to accommodate new candidates. BJP has given tickets to as many as 15 new candidates, out of the total 70 and similarly Congress has too given priority to various outsiders and rebels.
Rudrapur is constituency No. 66 of Uttarakhand legislative assembly. It is situated in Udhamsingh Nagar district in Kumaon region of the state. It comes under the Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar Lok Sabha constituency. It is an open constituency.
Number of voters
Rudrapur Constituency has a total of 1,19,509 registered voters out of which 64,118 are male and 55,391 are female registered voters.
What are the key issues
Employment, road constructions and education are some key issues in this constituency.
Who was the winner last time
During the 2012 Assembly elections, BJP defeated the Congress by 3,954 votes to win this constituency. Raj Kumar Thukral who won from BJP, bagged a total of 37,291 votes followed by Tilak Raj Behar of Congress who got 33,337 votes. The voter turnout was 78.44 per cent.
Who are the competing candidates
Raj Kumar Thukral (BJP), Tilak Raj Behar (Congress), Jaswant Singh (BSP) and Vinod Kumar (SP).
Why this constituency is important?
It is very clear that both Congress and BJP are main competitors as per previous Assmebly election results. BJP has put everything on stake to retain its government in Rudrapur, whereas Congress has tried its best to improve their support here and win this time. Both the candidates Raj Kumar Thukral and Tilak Raj Behar have very good voter base in Rudrapur. We are expecting a tough fight between BJP, Congress and other parties.