Elections were held in 69 seats of Uttarakhand and 67 seats in Uttar Pradesh respectively. Residents of Uttarakhand have chosen Congress and BJP alternatively in the recent years. Harish Rawat of Congress is the current CM of the state. Congress is trying their best to retain power in the state. BJP will be waiting to form their government after five years of long wait. Both the parties have already ruled the state in the past and they have an idea about people’s choice. Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress are the main parties in the state. Apart from both these parties; Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Uttarakhand Kranti Dal and independents are also contest the elections. But others may win three or four seats.
The main fight is between BJP and Congress. Many survey agencies, news channels and pollsters have already conducted opinion polls. These polls are a way to predict the mood of voters of a state. Some of the agencies have conducted more than one survey for Uttarakhand. As per the latest polls conducted by various media houses and survey agencies BJP will win most seats and might score majority. INC is shown at second position while others only managed to score in single digit number. Election results of Uttarakhand are anticipated to come in favour of BJP. Congress is lacking here. Most of the surveys are predicting that Congress might have to step down and BJP will emerge victorious this time.
Uttarakhand election results 2017 can never be judged by these surveys; however they give a rough idea taken from a number of people. The main issues of the state includes migration of residents, unemployment, bad condition of roads, limited job opportunities, and other infrastructure related issues. The state has seen a very large migration rate. Around 1100 village of this beautiful state are empty with no hope of residents coming back. The condition is not good in Garhwal region, where more than 650 villages have limited residents left. The main reason for such a large amount of migration is the limited job opportunities. People have to migrate due the lack of basic employment. Other states in plain areas offer more opportunity. The employment rate is severe; around 7 lakh people have no job according to data shared by employment exchange bureaus. Among these people, around 90 per cent are educated. These figures could be worse on the ground level. The political fight of the state will be very unpredictable, considering the support BJP got during Lok Sabha Elections.
BJP will be trying to prove that the support they got in 2014 elections remains intact. Congress has been in its low times since last couple of years. The party is running its campaign in full flow. If the result of Uttarakhand elections comes in their favour, it will boost the morale of Congress.
In the first phase of polling over 50 per cent voting was held. The second of the seven-phase polling in Uttar Pradesh – a phase crucial for the ruling Samajwadi Party, which holds 34 of the 67 constituencies went to polls. In Uttarakhand, where the polling for 69 seats is being held in a single phase, the voters turnout was marginal. The BJP is hoping to unseat the state’s ruling Congress government, which is battling corruption charges. Polling was high in Haridwar, the most crucial seat of the hill state from where Chief Minister Harish Rawat is contesting.
In Uttar Pradesh, stakes are high for the ruling Samajwadi Party, which is facing the BJP’s challenge. Most of the districts which voted on Wednesday are part of Uttar Pradesh’s Rohilkhand region – a paddy and sugarcane belt, in which cane dues are expected to be a big issue. The notes ban, which the BJP claims has huge support from the people, is a key issue in Pilibhit, where 95 per cent of India’s flutes were once produced.
The other crucial district is Bijnor, which witnessed communal tension prior to polling. About 74 lakh electors casted votes for 628 candidates on Wednesday. The polls have been held on 69 of the 70 seats, since the polls on the Karnaprayag seat have been postponed to March 9. While there are 10,685 polling booths across the State, 458 booths have been set up in snow covered regions where, the difficult terrain makes the setting up of a poll booth a challenge for the election commission teams. In the absence of any third forces the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP. However, the BSP is a challenge, especially for the Congress, in the 20 seats of Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts.
In UP a turnout of 64.22% was reported in the largely incident-free first phase of polling for the Assembly elections.
For the Congress, it is a battle to retain power in one of the only half dozen states where it is now ruling. The BJP is leaving no stone unturned to wrest power in Uttarakhand which has not returned any party with a clear majority in the last two elections. Several leaders in the BJP have made a claim for the Chief Minister’s post. On the contrary, in the Congress, the campaign has been a one-man show centred on Rawat, the party’s chief ministerial candidate. The BJP, which won all five Lok Sabha seats in the State in the 2014 elections, is again banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a victory in the Assembly elections. But the Congress, under Chief Minister Harish Rawat, is giving it a tough fight.
Throughout the campaign, Modi, who delivered five election speeches in the State, targeted Mr. Rawat for alleged corruption. The Prime Minister promised the voters more employment opportunities, improved roads, enhanced tourism potential, and setting up of small-scale industries in the plain areas of the state. He referred to the surgical strikes and implementation of the one rank, one pension scheme in all his speeches to attack the Congress and woo the voters since a major part of Uttarakhand’s workforce is employed with the armed forces. Also, the State has over two lakh ex-servicemen. BJP had undertaken door-to-door campaigning, especially in the hilly village regions. The Congress, however, had a strong social media campaign which was being handled by the team of the party’s poll strategist, Prashant Kishor.
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