DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Showcasing his full show of strength through roadshows and Jan sabhas on Friday, the CM Harish Rawat filed his nomination as a Congress candidate from Haridwar rural Assembly seat. Inspite of tall claims made by the Congress leader, winning this Assembly seat would not be a cake walk for Rawat since other parties have held a strong hold on this seat in past Assembly polls, say the political observers.
Rawat’s convoy reached Collectorate around 12 noon, where he handed over the papers to the returning officer, the SDM Haridwar. With his supporters he held a road show from BHEL crossing near Chinmaya degree college and addressed a huge public meeting in which he said that if the Congress turncoats would win, the state Uttarakhand would lose. “Agar dal badlu jeete to Uttarakhand har jayega.”
Earlier to this, Rawat offered prayers at Daksh temple in Kankhal and requested media persons to stay off fearing the guidelines of Model code of conduct for elections that ‘Mosques, Churches, Temples or other places of worship shall not be used as forum for election propaganda.’ However Har Ki Pauri being an open and unguarded place was covered by media persons. At Har Ki Pauri, his supporters were seen wearing face masks of Harish Rawat with ‘for youth’ written at the bottom. From the sanctum sanctorum, a mammoth gathering of party workers on motor bikes holding Congress flags convoyed through the narrow streets of Moti bazar to Shivmurti turning to a road show till Pentagon mall in SIDCUL.
Notably Rawat is the first CM of the state to contest from two seats. In earlier Assembly elections, he had contested from Dharchula constituency. This year he is contesting from two Vidhan Sabha seats Udham Singh Nagar and Haridwar (rural). The BJP candidate from this seat is Swami Yateeshwaranand and Mukarram Ansari is fighting from BSP.
This seat having 1.20 Lakh voters is a major constituency in the district and the Dalit-Muslim-Gurjar equations have played a major role here ever since it was formed. CM Harish Rawat may have kicked off his election campaign in a big way by showing his prowess through a big road show but it is not easy task as there is strong presence of BJP and other right wing organisations on this seat. Also BSP’s Dalit -Muslim combination is a big challenge for Congress this time as BSP chose its candidate from Muslim community which is believed as Congress vote bank. BSP had won twice before demarcation of Haridwar rural seat in 2002 and 2007 Assembly elections . But after demarcation BJP had won in 2012 from this seat.
Addressing people in public meeting near Chinmaya degree college in SIDCUL, Rawat said, “BJP made every possible effort to bring down my government but the people of Uttarakhand supported me all through. Now the reins of my government are in their hands. If they elect me again, I shall make a modernized infrastructural plan for the city of Haridwar. Congress will make a clean sweep in the Assembly elections. I am contesting from Haridwar to serve the people better as they have been cheated by rebel leaders, who later became turncoats.” He added that inspite of strong Modi wave in 2014, Congress could win from Doiwala, Someshwar and Dharchula seats thus ringing alarm bells for the BJP and these Assembly polls were to be looked as 2019 Lok Saba polls.
On his way back from collectorate in Roshnabad, chief minister’s convoy stopped at several places to meet party cadres. Amidst slogans by motorbike riders, the convoy moved with party members waving Congress flags.
Box item :
A day before the handbills signed by Harish Rawat ‘Har da ko bolo’were sent as newspaper inserts asking people to share their problems and promising to resolve them in 100 days. A whatsapp number 8090680906 has been printed. ‘Your problem is government’s priority’ states the handbill. Targetting MOdi while talking to media persons, after filing papers in Roshanabad Collectorate, he said, “Note ban has made Modi rich and others poor,” and he sang the song line by Pankaj Udhas ‘mein malamal aur baki sab kangal.’