Last Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 20:29
The upcoming Lok Sabha 2014 elections are slated to be a tough battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) in the five Parliamentary constituencies in the state.
Uttarakhand is the 27th state of India and was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000. Since the formation of the state, it has witnessed two Lok Sabha elections and three Assembly polls.
In the Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, Bharatiya Janata Party single-handedly emerged as the victorious party after bagging five constituencies while Congress could only manage to win one seat.
However, anti-incumbency factor worked in favour of the Congress party in the 2009 General Elections in which the party witnessed a landslide victory and it won seats in all five constituencies.
According to opinion polls, BJP is expected to make a strong comeback in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 with upto four seats while Congress may only manage to win one.
Apart from the Lok Sabha elections, Uttarakhand state has witnessed both BJP and Congress governments since its formation over a decade ago. However, anti-incumbency wave has made a major impact in the elections and the sitting government has been voted out of power in all the Assembly elections in the state so far.
In the first 2000 Assembly elections, Congress won 36 out of 70 Assembly seats while BJP could only bag 19 seats.
However, in the 2007 polls, people voted for BJP which then formed a government in the state after entering into an alliance with Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, a state-level party.
The anti-incumbency factor continued to play a major role and in the 2012 Assembly elections, Congress was voted back to power.
The major factors that worked against the BJP were accusations of corruption which forced the party to change its chief ministerial candidate from Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to BS Khanduri who is known for his 'clean' political image and his integrity. Khanduri worked on implementing stronger Lokayukta in the state.
Apart from corruption, other dominant issues in the state included power and water supply woes.
After the recent Uttarakhand floods which claimed thousands of lives, the sitting Congress government drew severe criticism from all quarters over its handling and the subsequent slow rehabilitation work by then chief minister Vijay Bahuguna. Soon after, the party replaced Bahuguna after serving as the chief minister of the state for 22 months with Harish Rawat.
Meanwhile, Congress' loss in the state turned in favour for BJP.
According to opinion polls, BJP is expected to make a strong comeback in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
Apart from the anti-incumbency factor in the state, BJP's prime ministerial Narendra Modi has also emerged as a major factor that could positively influence the votes in favour of the party.
Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is also planning to make debut in the state and is likely to field Harish Chandra from Almora seat.
The Lok Sabha elections 2014 will be held on five seats on May 7 and counting of votes will take place on May 16.
The five constituencies of the state are Nainital, Garhwal, Almora, Tehri Garhwal and Hardwar.
First Published: Friday, March 28, 2014, 23:46