Uttarakhand polls: AAP low on presence, but high on promises

Three-corner fight likely as state goes to polls on February 14 to elect 70 members of the legislative assembly

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By Chanakya

Voting to elect 70 members of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly will be conducted on February 14, in a single phase. This was announced by the Election Commission on Saturday. The counting will take place on March 10.

The tenure of Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly is scheduled to end on March 23. The previous assembly elections were held in February 2017. After the election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the state government, with Trivendra Singh Rawat becoming Chief Minister.

Thereafter, internal turmoil in the state BJP resulted in pressure to quit by MLAs on sitting Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat resulted in him resigning on March 9, 2021. Tirath Singh Rawat was then sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the state on March 10, 2021.

That was not the end of the turmoil. Tirath Singh Rawat’s tenure, too, was in jeopardy, as a constitutional crisis arose, because it was not possible to get him elected, as per constitutional guidelines, within six months. This was not possible, because the Election Commission said that a by-election was not possible to be conducted in that period due to the Covid pandemic. Tirath Singh’s tenure lasted less than four months. This resulted in him also being forced to resign on July 2, 2021.

On July 3, 2021 Pushkar Singh Dhami was sworn in as the tenth Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He assumed office the day after.

The polls will see a three-cornered fight. At one corner will be the BJP, while another corner will be held by the Congress, led by Harish Rawat, who was chief minister of the state from 2014 to 2017 and enjoys a degree of popularity among locals. The third corner is occupied by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.

Picture courtesy: Election Commission of India

While Dhami remains the chief ministerial face of the BJP in these polls, the AAP has projected retired Colonel Ajay Kothiyal as its CM face. Despite the popularity of Harish Rawat, the Congress, so far, is without CM face in the state.

AAM AADMI PARTY PROMISE

  • AAP national convener Kejriwal said: “When AAP forms government in Uttarakhand, we’ll begin the Tirth Yatra Yojana here just like in Delhi. We’ll facilitate free ‘darshan’ of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. For Muslims, we’ll have the provision of visiting Ajmer Sharif and for Sikhs to Kartarpur Sahib. It’ll be free.”
  • He also promised that women aged 18 and above will be given Rs 1,000 as monthly allowance and unemployed youths will be given an allowance of Rs 5,000 till they find jobs.
  • Establishment of good government schools and hospitals
  • 300 units of free energy (electricity) to residents of Uttarakhand.
  • 1 lakh government jobs within 6 months of government formation in the state
  • Reserve 80 percent of job opportunities for the local people of the state.
  • A separate ministry will also be formed to check the unemployment rate and migration.
    Free power to farmers 24×7       
Retired Colonel Ajay Kothiyal
  • BJP PROMISE
  • 12.6 km long ropeway to be built at a cost of Rs 764 crores.
  • Extension of Tanakpur-Bageshwar rail line
  • Rishikesh-Karnprayag Rail Connectivity
  • 224 doctors will be posted (1 female, 1 male) in 112 Ayurveda hospitals in the state
  • AYUSH doctors will also get the benefit of DACP like allopath doctors
  • Uttarakhand will become a model state by 2025
Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami

CONGRESS PROMISE
Harish Rawat had announced: “We will include disaster management issues in our manifesto… we promise to improve the parameter of relief and rescue work in any disaster in the state.”

Harish Rawat
  • SCHEDULE OF ELECTIONS
  • Here’s the full schedule for Uttarakhand  Assembly Elections 2022:
  • Date of issue of notification – January 21
  • Last date for filing nomination – January 28
  • Scrutiny of Nomination: January 29
  • Last date of withdrawal of candidature: January 31
  • Voting day in Uttarakhand  in single phase (phase 2)  – February 10
  • Date of counting of votes – March 10, 2022
    Previously, Uttarakhand Assembly Elections were held on February 15, 2017, to elect the 70  members of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly. In 2017 BJP won an absolute majority in the state by winning 57 (46.5%) seats and  Congress Won 11 (33.5%) seats.
  • NEW COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
  • No physical election rallies, roadshows yatras allowed (applicable to all 5 poll-bound states) till January 15 due to the COVID situation
  • Physical rallies during campaign, if allowed later, must follow Covid-19 guidelines
  • Political parties and candidates advised to conduct their election campaign in digital or virtual modes as much as possible
  • Polling time in all five states to be increased by one hour
  • No victory procession to be allowed post-results
  • All personnel on election duty will be doubly-vaccinated and
  • also eligible for precautionary third dose to ensure Covid-safe polls