The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are showering love these days on many independent candidates, who contested in the recently concluded Uttarakhand Assembly elections.
The attempt to showcase new affection is due to the splendid performance of independent candidates in about a dozen assembly seats, where they gave tough fight to both the major national parties.
Although the result of the Uttarakhand Assembly polls will be announced on March 11, the feedback available indicates independents will finish among top three in a dozen seats.
The assembly seats include Kedarnath, Purola, Ghansali, Devprayag, Narendra Nagar, Tehri, Dhanolti, Sehaspur, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Kaladhungi and Bhimtal. Initial trends available indicates independent candidates will hold the master key for the new government in the state.
Even in the last state assembly election three independent candidates-Harish Chand Durgapal, Dinesh Dhanai and Mantri Prasad Naithani- surprised all by defeating national party candidates to win their seats. All the three joined the collation government headed by the Congress in Uttarakhand and were rewarded with cabinet ministers posts.
The Congress and the BJP are facing challenging times, as many of their rebels contested to prove the decision of the party wrong for denying them ticket. The public support of these rebels have surprised both the parties.
Both the Congress and the BJP are claiming to win a comfortable majority by claiming over 40 seat in the 70-member house. But, in case they fall short of the magical figure of 36, the two parties will require support of independents and other small parties to form the government.
So, the Congress and the BJP have begun the exercise to develop confidence and faith with independent candidates. It is a new found love by the two national parties.