It’s a battle between Congress veteran Harish Rawat and the BJP's youth bet Pushkar Singh Dhami as the hill state of Uttarakhand goes to polls for its 70 members’ Assembly.
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Ever since the formation of Uttarakhand in 2000, BJP and Congress have ruled the state on an alternate basis. However, this time, debutant AAP is expected to pose a formidable challenge to the two political heavyweights.
Here are some key contests that one should keep their eyes out for.
Incumbent Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is contesting for the third time from the Khatima Assembly seat against the Congress nominee Bhuwan Chandra Kapri. Though Dhami is on a two-time winning streak from this seat, it will be interesting to see how he would fare against Kapri this time.
In Uttarakhand, retaining their traditional seat proves to be a monumental task for chief ministers in Assembly elections. Many former chief ministers of Uttarakhand had lost following completing their tenure.
There's a triangular battle for this Assembly seat. There's AAP's chief ministerial face 'Bhole ke fauji' Ajay Kothiyal, Congress candidate Vijaypal Singh Sajwan and BJP leader Suresh Chauhan.
Interestingly, Kothiyal — former principal of Uttarkashi-based Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, has never contested polls.
The Assembly seat was won by Gopal Singh Rawat who died in 2021, making it vacant. As AAP fielded Kothiyal for the bypolls, challenging then-CM Tirath Singh Rawat to contest polls, bypolls were not held due to rise of COVID cases.
Former Uttarakhand chief minister and Congress veteran Harish Rawat is now contesting from a new Assembly seat this election — Lalkuwa — after losing the last three elections. He is squaring off against Mohan Singh Bisht of BJP.
Pawan Chauhan, who was denied a ticket by the BJP, is now contesting as an independent candidate from this seat.
The main battle here will be between BJP's Shaila Rani Rawat and Congress' Manoj Rawat. However, AAP's Suman Tiwari is also expected to give a tough fight.
This constituency has become a battle of turncoats. BJP-turned-Congress leader Dhan Singh Negi will fight Congress-turned-BJP leader Kishore Upadhyay. Negi had won Tehri in 2017 on a BJP ticket, but switched to Congress after failing to win a ticket.
On the other hand, Upadhyay, who was ex-Congress Uttarakhand chief won the seat in 2002 and 2007. He switched from Congress to BJP on the same day as Negi switched to Congress and eyes re-election.
With inputs from agencies