DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The Srinagar assembly constituency situated in Garhwal hills is witnessing a tough contest between the sitting MLA, Ganesh Godiyal and senior BJP leader and vice president of party’s state unit, Dhan Singh Rawat. Independent candidate Mohan Prasad Kala who is one of the wealthiest candidates in fray for these elections is determined to make the contest three cornered.
When one pays a visit to Srinagar town it immediately becomes apparent that all the three candidates enjoy a good reputation in the area. The Congress candidate Godiyal is highlighting the developmental works done by him in last five years. In the election meeting he is seeking votes on the increase in beneficiaries of social security schemes, success of reconstruction activities in the aftermath of one of the biggest natural disaster in the year 2013 and drinking water schemes. Godiyal incidentally is the chairman of influential Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC). The BJP candidate Dhan Singh Rawat is hoping to bank of Modi charisma and his clean image to garner votes in his favour. The independent candidate Mohan Prasad Kala is matching Rawat and Godiyal in campaign.
Srinagar assembly constituency was reserved for Schedule Caste (SC) in the elections of 2002 and 2007. In the first assembly elections of the state the Congress candidate Sunder Lal Mandrawal won from here defeating his BJP rival Brij Mohan Kotwal. In the elections of the 2007 Kotwal was able to avenge his defeat when he defeated Mandrawal by a margin of 3152 votes. The constituency was changed to a general seat in the year 2012 after the delimitation. The Congress fielded Ganesh Godiyal from here who in the previous elections of 2007 had caused a major electoral shock when he defeated BJP stalwart Ramesh Pokharial ‘Nishank’ from neighboring Thalisain assembly segment. Post delimitation Thalisain was dissolved and Godiyal who owns a big business in Mumbai migrated to Srinagar. In the elections of 2012 the seat witnessed keen contest between Ganesh Godiyal and Dhan Singh Rawat of BJP in which Godiyal defeated Rawat by a margin of more than five thousand votes.
Ramakant Nautiyal, a resident of Srinagar town said that Srinagar is the nerve centre of Garhwal hills but it is lagging in development. “In the base hospital the absence of doctors is a big issue which needs to be addressed. Similarly the Chauras Bridge is yet to be completed after it got collapsed.” Anil Purwal a student of HNB Garhwal University said that the government should provide local opportunities for employment for youths.