Uttarakhand elections: Following protest of senior leader, Congress changes Harish Rawat's seat to Lalkuan

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Former Uttarakhand chief minister and Congress leader Harish Rawat will now contest the February 14 assembly elections from Lalkuan seat instead of Ramnagar, which was announced earlier.

The Congress changed Rawat’s seat in the third list of 10 candidates announced late on Wednesday.

In this list, the party changed the seats of five of its previously nominated candidates.

It also nominated Rawat’s daughter Anupama Rawat from the Haridwar rural assembly seat.

He had unsuccessfully contested from the Kichcha and Haridwar rural assembly seats in the last assembly polls in 2017.

Rawat replaces Sandhya Dalakoti for the Lalkuan seat, while Mahender Pal Singh will now contest in Rawat’s place from Ramnagar assembly constituency.

Singh was earlier nominated by the party to contest the Kaladhungi assembly seat, from where the party has now fielded Mahesh Sharma.

The Congress also nominated Gaurav Chaudhary in place of Mohit Uniyal for the Doiwala assembly seat and Ravi Bahadur replaced Barkha Rani for the Jwalapur-SC seat.

The party has nominated Yashpal Rana from Roorkee.

Earlier, Uttarakhand Congress working president Ranjit Rawat has expressed displeasure of the Rawat from Nainital’s Ramnagar, a seat from where he was hopeful of getting the party ticket.

In a purported video that surfaced on social media, Ranjit Rawat is seen questioning the party’s move while demanding that Harish Rawat’s candidature be withdrawn.

“Will you let someone else (Harish Rawat) reap the harvest of a barren land which you made fertile,” he is seen asking party workers in the video.

“Someone who wants to be made the party’s face for the polls, claiming people would vote in his name, would have had no problem contesting from any other seat,” he said.

Terming the party’s decision ‘wrong’, he asks the party high command to withdraw it.

“If it does not, then you decide what to do with someone who despite having been chief minister does not have a seat,” Rawat said referring to Congress campaign head Harish Rawat, who lost both the seats he contested in the 2017 Assembly polls.

“I will go with whatever you decide. No decisions can be taken unilaterally in social and political life,” Ranjit Rawat is heard saying in the video.

Though Ranjit Rawat had lost the Ramnagar seat to the BJP candidate in the 2017 Assembly polls, he had worked hard in the constituency and was expecting party ticket from there this time.

However, the Congress declared Harish Rawat as its candidate from the seat in its second list on Monday, disappointing Ranjit Rawat.