Days before former CM Harish Rawat was set to file his nomination from Ramnagar, the Congress party changed his seat for the upcoming Uttarakhand election. In its third list of candidates released on Wednesday night, it dropped three candidates declared previously, switched the seats of two others and named 5 fresh faces. While Rawat will contest from Lalkuwa, Mahender Pal Singh was nominated from Ramnagar. This comes after Congress leader Ranjit Rawat staked a claim for the Ramnagar seat and was vocal against the party’s decision to pick the ex-CM instead of him.
Perceived as an attempt to pacify Ranjit Rawat, he was given a ticket from the Salt constituency. BJP’s Om Gopal Rawat who switched allegiance to Congress on Wednesday was fielded from the Narendranagar seat.
Meanwhile, Harish Rawat’s daughter and All India Mahila Congress general secretary Anupama Rawat shall fight the polls from the Haridwar Rural constituency. While the Sonia Gandhi-led party has announced 69 candidates until now, it is yet to decide on the candidate for the Tehri seat.
In the first list of 53 candidates declared on January 22, Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Assembly Pritam Singh was fielded from Chakrata where he has won 5 times in the past. On the other hand, Uttarakhand Congress president Ganesh Godiyal has been again pitted against Minister Dhan Singh Rawat in the Srinagar constituency. From Khatima, Bhuwan Chandra Kapri will take on CM Pushkar Singh Dhami for the second consecutive time. Ex-BJP MLAs Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjeev who joined Congress on October 11, 2021, have been given a ticket from Bajpur and Nainital respectively.
However, the Sonia Gandhi-led party snubbed former BJP Minister Harak Singh Rawat by not naming him as the candidate from his constituency Kotdwar. His daughter-in-law Anukriti Gusain though found a place in the party’s second list of candidates and will fight the polls from Landsdowne. In another development, late Congress veteran Indira Hridayesh’s son Sumit shall make his poll debut in Haldwani. Harish Rawat, who is leading Congress’ campaign in Uttarakhand, suffered embarrassment as the CM in 2017 after he lost from the Haridwar Rural and Kichha seats to his BJP opponents by a margin of 12,278 and 2,127 votes.