Voting begins for Uttarakhand Assembly elections

Dehradun: Voting for the Uttarakhand Assembly elections has begun on Monday morning, wherein over 82 lakh voters in 70 assembly constituencies will decide the political fate of 632 candidates which include over 150 independents.

Voters can exercise their franchise till 6 pm.

Meanwhile a total of 11,697 booths have been set up for voting, out of these, 776 booths are critical and 1050 booths are vulnerable.

Prominent candidates of BJP in fray are Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Dhan Singh Rawat, Satpal Maharaj, Yatishwarananda, Subodh Uniyal, Ganesh Joshi, Rekha Arya and state BJP president Madan Kaushik. Former Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyay is trying his luck this time on BJP ticket.

On the Congress ticket former chief minister Harish Rawat, former minister Yashpal Arya, state unit president Ganesh Godiyal and Leader of Opposition in the fourth assembly Pritam Singh are trying their luck.

As far as the electoral history of the state is concerned, no political party has been able to return to power for the second time in a row. However, speaking to IANS, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, many such myths have been busted in the country and like Assam, and Haryana, the BJP is going to be form the government for the second consecutive time in Uttarakhand.

In the hill state, the main contest is between the ruling BJP and the principal Opposition Congress, but in many seats, the BSP, Aam Aadmi Party and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) are also seen in a position to make the electoral contest triangular.

The UKD, the party which had initiated and led the struggle for formation of a separate hill state from Uttar Pradesh, is hoping to revive its political fortunes in this year’s assembly polls.

In 2017 Assembly polls, the BJP won 57 of 70 seats. Congress won 11 and two independents won from Assembly constituencies.

The high voltage campaign ended with Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami promising implementation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Uttarakhand after winning the elections.

The ruling BJP is seeking votes on development and warned voters against the appeasement policy of Congress. While the main opposition Congress has raised the issues of inflation, unemployment and leadership in BJP which resulted in replacement of two chief ministers within four months. The AAP is trying to win people’s support by offering freebies.

Keeping the Covid-19 pandemic in mind, many arrangements have been made by the Election Commission at polling booths across the state. Arrangements have been made for thermal scanning of all voters before entering the polling booth and mandatory masks are mandatory for voters. Similarly arrangements have also been made to give gloves to every voter at the booth.

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