Dehradun: In a major shock for the Congress, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat faced defeat on the two assembly seats – Kichha and Haridwar Rural – from where he was contesting as a party candidate.
While BJP’s Swami Yatishwaranad defeated Rawat by a margin of over 12,000 votes at Haridwar Rural, BJP candidate Rajesh Shukla defeated Rawat by 92 votes at Kichha seat of Udham Singh Nagar district.
The BJP is leading in 57 seats. While the Congress is leading 11 and others are leading 2 seats out of 70 seats at 5:30 pm.
Five years ago, the BJP had lost Uttarakhand to the Congress by a whisker. The party had won 31 seats, the Congress 32 – both short of the 36 needed to form government. The Congress later formed the government with the help of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP and others. The BSP had failed to win any seats in the hill state this year.
Last year, Rawat survived a trust vote following a rebellion in his party. Several Congress leaders changed camp since, pushing the BJP into a tight corner to choose the right candidates for the election.