Khanduri improves party position but fails to win

Dehradun : He may have been the poster boy for the BJP during the recently held vidhan sabha elections in Uttarakhand and his face smiled from almost every paper where elections were placed and on posters put up in this entire mountain state. “Khanduri hai zaroori” had become the slogan which single handedly the BJP hoped would see the party through.

But the irony of the situation is that the man, who helped a number of party candidates win, just by being portrayed and projected as the next chief minister of the state lost himself. He was humbled, if not completely humiliated by Surendra Singh Negi of the Congress from the Kotdwara assembly segment and that too by a substantial margin of about 4000 votes.

What was initially being taken for a cake walk victory for Khanduri, turned out to be his Waterloo in as much that various forces came to play. The most important perhaps was the fact that the sitting BJP MLA, Shailendra Rawat reluctantly made way for Khanduri to contest from Kotdwara and as such most of his supporters were against Khanduri from day one.

Second Rawat belonged to the Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank camp. And as Khanduri had replaced Nishnak as the chief minister, the latter was eager to get his pound of flesh. There are rumours in BJP circles within the state that Nishank allegedly played a stellar role in ensuring that Rawat and his supporters work against Khanduri, albeit on the sly.

Third Khanduri was banking to quite an extent on the ex-servicemen votes in the assembly segment, but with the Uttarakhand Raksha Morcha having put up its candidate, the serving army votes as also those of the ex-servicemen were split, with not much going in favour of the chief minister.

Party sources here said that allegations of sabotaging had been taken up with the BJP high command by both Khanduri and even Nishank. Initially it was Nishank who went to the party high command and alleged that his elections had been sabotaged by Khanduri and his supporters who had financed for the CDs and booklets that were distributed in his Doiwala assembly segment. However, he managed to win by about 2000 votes over his Congress rival Hira Singh Bist.

But for the BJP, it will be hard to take the defeat of their poster boy. The man who single handedly was responsible of raising the party prospects from a sure defeat to a neck-to-neck position and create the possibility of forming the next government in the state with the help of independents and others.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish had worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.

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  1. says: Himanshu

    This guy Nishank is a shrewd politician..he might have won…bt losing Mr Khanduri is a big blow for our state..I will never forgive this ‘Nishank Kalank’ in my whole life…as far as m alive…i want this ‘Kalank’ to remove from BJP asap.
    Jai Uttarakhand…and Khanduri will always b Jaroori for our state..

  2. says: sahil rawat

    analysis is absolutely correct. it is ill fate of uttarakhand that a man who is the symbol of honesty and straight forwardness lost his seat. but he has the potential to re germinate like phoenix. who knows? this defeat will pave the way for his national role.
    mr nishank is blot in the name of uttarakhandi or bjp.
    koi har kar bhi mashoor hai,
    koi jeet kar bhi badnam hai—–
    koi kavita banata hai,
    koi itihas banata hai.

    but it is matter of great concern that ukd the regional party is losing . while national parties have their own agenda we need some regional party to control them . our issues of shiksha, sarak , aspatal , jangal pani have been set a side. let us think it.

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