Both the Congress and the BJP are working overtime to pursue party rebels not to contest as independent candidates. The two national parties are facing difficult situation in over one dozen assembly seats.
The affect is wide even Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, State Congress president Kishore Upadhyay, Leader of opposition and state BJP president Ajay Bhatt are facing own party rebels in their assembly seats.
With the last date for withdrawing nomination ending on 1 February, hectic damage control measures to placate ignored party ticket seekers has started.
Congress is facing revolt in a dozen seats including Kiccha, Sehaspur, Raipur, Devprayag, Dhanolti, Yamkeshwar, Bageshwar, Ruderprayag, Jawalapur, Dharampur, etc.
The case of BJP is no different in Uttarakhand with party rebels in fray as independent candidates from Kedarnath, Gangotri, Kashipur, Kaladhungi, Narendra Nagar, Jaspur, Ranikhet and Chaubattyakhal to mention a few.
Chief Minister Harish Rawat will be facing rebel Congress leader and state general secretary Shilpi Arora at Kiccha assembly seat. State Congress president Kishore Upadhyay will contest against party rebel Arayendra Sharma at Sehaspur seat. BJP leader and state president Ajay Bhatt is pitted against annoyed party leader Pramod Nainiwal at Ranikhet assembly seat.
Congress is facing tizzy situation at Dhanolti seat- where the party is supporting independent candidate Pritam Panwar and wants official Congress candidate Manmohan Mall to withdraw his nomination. Manmohan has declined to withdraw his name to create worries for Congress.
Devendra Bhasin, media in-charge Uttarakhand BJP, says, “The process is on. We are in touch with all the party leaders, who have filed their nomination as independent candidates, and are receiving encouraging response. We were able to convince Vijaya Barthwal at Yamkeshwar seat and other party leaders at Doiwala and Rajpur seats.”
Congress and BJP have started a massive damage control exercise in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand Congress issued an appeal on 28 January to party leaders asking them to contribute in making party leader win the state assembly election.
Uttarakhand Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay in his letter says, “For selecting party candidate a number of parameters are considered. There is a possibility that the candidate selected might have failed to meet your sentiments. We respect your sentiments and it is the demand of the time to make Congress win in Uttarakhand. It is my request to you to ensure win for Congress candidate in your area.”
The Congress will have to make hard efforts and the case of rebels Shilpi Arora and Arayendra Sharma indicates this. Both ignored Congress leaders have approached Election Commission complaining about Harish Rawat and Kishore Upadhyay filing incomplete and wrong details in their declarations.