Prakash Pant files nomination for Sitarganj by-poll



Dehra Dun: Former minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Pant on Wednesday filed his nomination for the upcoming Sitarganj Assembly by-polls through which Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna seeks an entry into the Vidhan Sabha.

Accompanied by former Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and party state President Bishan Singh Chufal, Pant submitted his papers before returning officer P C Dumka on the last day of filing nomination.

The party also organised a public meeting and carried out a poll procession to garner support for Pant, who had lost in the recently concluded Assembly elections from Pithoragarh.

Claiming that the BJP was going to win the by-election with a "handsome margin", Koshiyari termed the resignation by former party MLA Kiran Mandal in favour of Bahuguna as a "treachery" with the people of the area who had voted for BJP.

He also termed the government's move to provide land ownership rights to Bengali settlers in Sitarganj as an "eyewash" and urged the community to itself judge the situation before voting for their choice.

Pant, who is also the former Assembly speaker, is being seen as formidable candidate against Bahuguna, who seeks an entry into the House through the July 8 election to meet the constitutional obligation of becoming a legislator within 6 months of taking oath as the chief minister.

The contest appears to be a keen one with both BJP and Congress claiming they were going to pull this of in their favour.

While Bahuguna is banking upon a set of schemes "worth crores of rupees" announced by the government after taking over, BJP too is in no mood to let this opportunity go, party sources said.

PTI