Uttarakhand goes to polls on Monday

The BJP had won 57 out of a total of 70 seats in Uttarakhand in the last assembly polls limiting Congress to just 11. Two seats had gone to Independents.

Published: 13th February 2022 05:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2022 05:57 PM   |  A+A-

Vote, Polls, Election

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

DEHRADUN: The 70 assembly seats of Uttarakhand spread over 13 districts will go to the polls on Monday with over 81 lakh voters all set to decide the fate of 632 candidates, including 152 independents, in the fray.

Polling will begin at 8 am and conclude at 6 pm.

Electioneering which was carried out aggressively by the political parties through virtual as well as physical rallies and door-to-door campaigns in the state came to an end on Saturday evening. It will be the fifth assembly elections to be held in Uttarakhand after its creation in 2000.

Important candidates whose fate is to be decided in these polls include Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya besides state BJP president Madan Kaushik.

Prominent faces from the Congress in the fray include former chief minister Harish Rawat, former minister Yashpal Arya, state Congress president Ganesh Godiyal and Leader of Opposition in the fourth assembly Pritam Singh.

Star campaigners of BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Samajwadi Party including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati held a slew of rallies to seek votes for their candidates during electioneering which was held for the most part amid Covid restrictions.

Seeking a second consecutive term in office, the BJP stalwarts have warned voters against the Congress's "policy of appeasement" and asked for votes for the party highlighting the big road, rail and air connectivity projects underway in the state and the ones in the pipeline besides the reconstruction of Kedarnath over the past five years.

They have sought votes in the name of a double-engine government for the state's uninterrupted development over the next five years while Congress which is trying to gain lost ground after its rout at the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2017 assembly polls has raised the issues of inflation, unemployment and change of chief ministers in quick succession by the party in power to put spokes in its wheels.

The BJP had won 57 out of a total of 70 seats in Uttarakhand in the last assembly polls limiting Congress to just 11. Two seats had gone to Independents.

Traditionally, the politics of Uttarakhand has been largely bi-polar with Congress and BJP governing the state alternately, but this time the AAP is also in the running fielding its candidates from all the 70 assembly constituencies in the state.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has asked for votes accusing successive Congress and BJP governments in the state of not fulfilling the aspirations of people that had led to the creation of Uttarakhand in 2000.

It has also offered a slew of freebies including free electricity up to 300 units to every household, Rs 1,000 per month to every woman above 18 years, jobs to every household and an unemployment allowance of Rs 5,000 per month to them until they get the job to lure voters.

There are a total of 81,72,173 voters in the state and 11,697 polling booths spread over 8,624 locations, said Chief Electoral Officer Saujanya, who does not use a surname.

For the first time 101 all-women polling booths named 'Sakhi' polling booths have been set up in the state.

All polling officials at these booths will be women, she said, adding this has been done to encourage women's participation in the polling process. Similarly, six polling booths to be manned by persons with disabilities have also been set up, she said.

The presiding officers and polling personnel at such booths will be differently abled.



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