DEHRADUN: Assembly elections in Uttarakhand, scheduled in March 2022, may be advanced to August this year, according to sources in the state government and the BJP. This is apparently being mulled to avoid holding by-elections necessitated by the change of guard just a few months before the Assembly polls. The bypolls will be necessary because new Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has to be elected to the Assembly within six months of his swearing-in.
Rawat will have to resign from his Lok Sabha seat of Pauri, necessitating bypoll for the parliamentary constituency as well. Though several party MLAs have showed willingness to leave their seats to get the chief minister elected, many in the party and the government are not confident of Rawat winning from any Assembly seat. That’s because he is not considred to be very popular.
Officials think that a defeat in either the Lok Sabha or the Assembly seat just a few months before the state elections could be a big blow to the party’s morale and electoral prospects. “The option to advance the Assembly polls has been discussed, but the final decision is yet to be made.
Many in the party as well as in the government are not in favour of holding byelections ahead of the assembly elections next year,” said a source in the state government. Main opposition party Congress has said that if the government goes for early elections, it would be a public acceptance of its failure. “People gave them absolute majority, with 57 MLAs in the 70- member Assembly and the BJP wasted it,” said Indira Hridayesh of the grand old party.