U’khand: Rebels giving party candidates a tough time

The high number of rebels and independents have upset the calculation of the two big players, BJP and Congress.

Srinagar: In Uttarakhand,
which is traditionally used to a direct fight between BJP and Congress, the high number of rebels and independents have
upset the calculation of the two big players.

With nearly 800 candidates contesting the 70 seats, the
presence of an extra candidate, even if it is a rebel does not
bother many, but in some key contests it is the rebel who
could tilt the balance.

At the Badrinath Assembly seat, when the party decided to
allot its ticket to Prem Vallabh Bhatt, it was its sitting MLA
Kedar Sigh Phonia who did not take it lying down and went
ahead to file his nomination on a ticket of regional party
Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha.

A similar step was taken by Anil Nautiyal, the BJP`s
sitting MLA from Karnprayag whom many even considered close to
former Chief Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal.

Nautiyal who had won the seat for the last two
consecutive terms is now expected to compound the worries of
party`s official nominees Harish Poojary.

In Thrali constituency in Chamoli district, sitting MLA
G L Shah has also joined the ranks of BJP after he was denied
ther ticket in favour of Magan Lal Saha.

The Congress candidate Jeetram Lal can expect some
benefit from Saha`s presence but another independent Mahesh
Trikoti would dent his votes as well.

Ram Kumar, the BJP`s sitting MLA from Sahaspur has filed
his nomination from Urola constituency completing the quarted
of sitting BJP MLAs who have rebelled.

Apart from them, former MLA Kailash Sharma has also filed
the nomination from Almora against the party`s official
candidate and sitting MLA Raghunath Singh.

"The rebels may do some damage but out party had
conducted a survey before the elections that showed them doing
badly which has resulted in tickets being denied to them," a
BJP worker said.

The Congress` plate of worries is also quiet full. Former
Minister Mantri Parshad Naithani was expected many to bag the
party the Dev Prayag seat. But once the ticket was denied to
Naithani, he rebelled and is mounting problems for the
official Congress canadidate and former minister Shoorvir
Singh Seiwan.

Former Congress MLA Harish Durgapal has filed in the
papers from the Lal Kuan constituency against the party`s
official nominee.

Senior Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat who is locked in
tough fight with BJP`s Matbar Singh Kandari has to fight off
the challenge of not one but two party rebels.

Bharat Chaudhary and Virender Singh Bisht, both said to
be associated with the Congress are now opposing the party`s
official canadidate.

The presence of S P Singh, who was associated with the
Congress, in the fray from Doiwala in Dehradun district has
diluted to some extent the challenge of senior leader and ex
minister Hira Singh Bisht who is fighting the CM Ramesh

Congress candidates also have to enounter the challenge
of rebels in other seats like Rishikesh, Haridwar (RURAL),
Ranipur and Sahaspur.

They deter its members from hobnobbing with the rebels
the party has already cancelled the membership of nearly fifty
of its workers in the state.

Many locals here believe that the rebels know that if
none of the two parties has an absolute majority, and they
manage to win a seat, they may be in for a bargain.