Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami Loses to Congress Candidate in Khatima
The 2017 Uttarakhand Assembly elections had marked a sweeping victory for the BJP.
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Uttarakhand Chief Minister (CM) Pushkar Singh Dhami on Thursday, 10 March, lost from the Khatima seat to Congress party candidate Bhuwan Chandra Kapri by more than 7,000 votes.
Dhami had won the seat on the last two occasions. In 2012 Assembly elections, he had defeated Devendra Chand of the Congress by over 5,000 votes.
In 2017, Dhami was the one who had defeated Kapri by a margin of 2,709 votes.
However, this time round, anti-incumbency against Dhami, who had taken up the CM's job in July 2021, seems to have worked in Kapri's favour.
Despite the major upset, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is poised to form the government in the state as the party is winning/leading from 48 out of the total 70 seats in the Uttarakhand Assembly.
Dhami's Elevation to Uttarakhand CM
Dhami's propulsion to the CM post had come after a turbulent time in the hill state's politics, with BJP's Trivendra Singh Rawat resigning in March 2021. Following this, Tirath Singh Rawat took over the role, but stepped down in a matter of fourth months.
Dhami succeeded Tirath Singh Rawat to become the state's 11th CM. He has a strong hold over the youth of the state, having been the chief of the party's Uttarakhand youth wing – the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha – from 2002 to 2006.
He has also been the vice-president of the Uttarakhand BJP in the past.
Dhami on Exit Polls
The exit poll results for the Uttarakhand Assembly elections on Monday had indicated a drop in the ruling BJP's seat share, forecasting a tight fight with the challenger Congress.
Reacting to the predictions, Dhami had asserted belief in the BJP win, saying that all surveys pointed towards the BJP retaining power.
"All exit polls are showing BJP will form government with a majority. Some are showing 45 seats, some 47... I believe there will be more when the final result is out," he told news agency ANI.
"The people of Uttarakhand have shown faith in us and (we) will form the government," he added.
How Had BJP Fared in 2017?
The 2017 Uttarakhand Assembly elections had marked a sweeping victory for the Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP, with the Congress a far second.
Post the 2017 election, the distribution of seats in the 70-member Assembly was as follows:
Meanwhile, the Bahujan Samaj Party, which had also participated in the polls, had failed to get off the mark.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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