Highlights

  • Uttarakhand elections: Congress' performance worse than exit polls
  • Infighting, complacency may have hurt Congress' performance
  • Harish Rawat believed to have hit Uttarakhand campaign trail late

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The Grand Old Party failed to capitalise on the disarray in the BJP, which burned through 2 CMs in the run up to the polls.

 

The BJP seems to have broken the jinx of the ruling side always losing in Uttarakhand, even as Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami may have fallen prey to it.

The Congress seems to have performed worse than what exit polls predicted for the Opposition side. The Grand Old Party failed to capitalise on the disarray in the BJP, which burned through 2 CMs in the run up to the polls, with Trivendra Rawat being replaced by Tirath Rawat, who again quit and made way for Pushkar Dhami.

What might have put Congress on a weak wicket may have been differences and fighting in its own camp.

The Congress campaign was led by former CM Harish Rawat. However, he is believed to have hit the campaign trail very late, as he had been deputed by the Congress leadership to solve the leadership crisis in Punjab. Then, to make matters worse for the party, Rawat faced a rebellion at the constituency which he wanted to contest from. After being declared as the Ramnagar candidate, Rawat was subsequently assigned to Lalkuwa. This is believed to be because of the threat of a rebellion by Harish Rawat's former aide Ranjit Rawat. Ranjit Rawat was given the Salt seat.

However, tension continued to brew in Congress' camp, with over five leaders reportedly being expelled from the party for filing nominations as independent candidates after they were denied tickets. These included Sandhya Dalakoti who was replaced by Harish Rawat as candidate in Lalkuwa. Even as the BJP faced similar problems, the Congress also doesn't seem to have benefited much from entry of BJP rebels like Harak Singh Rawat.

The Grand Old Party may have also fallen prey to complacency, believing that the anti-incumbency curse would work in its favour, according to political commentators. This might have also boosted Congress leaders' ambitions, leading to even more infighting.

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