Dehradun: The results in Uttarakhand was a photo-finish between the Congress and the BJP.
Under the 78-year-old BC Khanduri’s leadership, the BJP got
31 seats, five short of its tally in the last elections, while
the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 32 seats
in the 70-member assembly.
However, Khanduri's candidature for chief ministership
failed to charm the voters of his own constituency Kotdwar,
where he lost to the Congress candidate Surendra Singh Negi by
a margin of 4,632 votes.
In September last year when Khanduri, a former army
general, was made the Chief Minister, the BJP appeared to be
facing a downslide because of allegations of corruption
against his predecessor Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank'.
The BJP also cantered its election campaign in Uttarakhand
around the personality of Khanduri, known as 'Mr Clean'.
BJP state president Bishan Singh Chufal won from Didihaat seat defeating Rewati Joshi of Congress by 10,617 votes.
BJP candidate Kiran Chand Mandal defeated BSP's Narayan Pal in Sitarganj Assembly constituency.
Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress chief Yashpal Arya won from Baajpur seat defeating Rajkumar of BJP by 15,075 votes.
Arvind Pandey of BJP retained Gadarpur seat defeating Genrail Singh Kali, an independent by 5,835 votes.
Adesh Chauhan of BJP won from Ranipur seat defeating Ambrish Kumar, an independent candidate by 3500 votes.
Harbhajan Singh Cheema of BJP defeated Manoj Joshi of Congress to retain Kashipur seat by a margin of 2382 votes.
Manoj Tiwari of Congress won from Almora seat defeating Raghunath Singh Chauhan of BJP by over 1,000 votes.
Ajay Bhatt of BJP defeated Karan Mehra of Congress from Ranikhet seat by 88 votes.
Tourism Minister Madan Kaushik of BJP defeated Satpal Bhramchari of Congress from Haridwar seat by 8,603 votes.
Sarwar Singh Ansari of BSP defeated Kazi Nizamuddin of Congress by 713 votes from Mangalore seat.
The counting began at 8 am in all 13 districts amid tight surveillance of the poll officials.
A total of 16 centres across the 13 districts were set up for counting of votes for 70 Assembly constituencies.
The main contenders BJP and Congress contested in all the 70 seats. Mayawati-led BSP also contested in all 70 seats, where as Uttarakhand Kranti Dal contested on 52 seats.
The elections were held on January 30.
About 70 per cent of the 63 lakh voters exercised their franchise.