DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Negating the view of most of the political commentators who opined that the 13 Congress turncoats who switched to BJP few months before the election would prove liabilities for the party, supposedly staring at imminent defeats, most of the rebels have registered victories in their respective constituencies by impressive margins. However, two of them tasted defeat. The two who were trounced in the electoral battle are Dr Shailendra Mohan Singhal and Dr Shailarani Rawat. Notably, while the former was one of the eight MLAs who deserted the Harish Rawat- helmed government during the time the division of votes was to be held on the money bill in March last year the latter jumped the ship during the supreme court-dictated floor test in May last year. They were both later disqualified by then Speaker under anti-defection law along with the other rebel MLAs.
Dr Rawat, who had wrested the Kedarnath seat from the BJP, defeating the BJP candidate and the incumbent MLA Asha Nautiyal during the Assembly election-2012, has lost the seat. Contesting on the BJP ticket, she lost to the Congress candidate Manoj Rawat, a journalist. The defeat sprang not much of a surprise as Asha Nautiyal who decided to be in the fray as an independent following the party’s decision to nominate Dr Rawat was supposed to have eaten substantially into the BJP’s traditional votes. Though Nautiyal finished third she ensured the defeat of Dr Rawat.
Dr Singhal, who had been on a winning streak for successive elections either as an independent and a Congress candidate from Jaspur seat, has tasted defeat this time from the same constituency while contesting on BJP ticket. After the BJP leadership decided to award the turncoat with the ticket for the seat the BJP candidate Aadesh Chouhan who contested the election against Dr Singhal in the 2012 election switched sides and the Congress entrusted him with the task of taking on Dr Singhal. This time, luck smiled on Chouhan who has turned the table on Dr Singhal, registering one of the few wins for the Congress.
Among the Congress rebels who have won while contesting on BJP tickets are Harak Singh Rawat (Kotdwar), Subodh Uniyal (Narendranagar), Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion (Khanpur), Pradeep Batra (Roorkee) and Umesh Sharma Kau (Raipur). Besides, the son of the former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, one of the Congress rebels, Saurabh Bahuguna has won from Sitarganj constituency.