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Uttarakhand leaders face delimitation woes

January 23, 2012 15:10 IST

In Uttarakhand, where the campaigning is reaching a fever pitch for the January 30 assembly elections, several politicians are facing the tag of "outsider" due to the change in their constituencies post delimitation.

Catch all the election buzz from Uttarakhand here

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Chief Minister B C Khanduri is one of the main candidates who have been forced to leave their previous constituency.

Khanduri, who is the face of the BJP campaign in this election, had represented the Dhumakot constituency earlier. But due to delimitation, a big portion of Dhumakot seat was merged with Lansdown and he thought it wiser to shift to Kotdwar.

While Khanduri is expected to win from the new constituency, his arrival in Rudraprayag was initially questioned by supporters of sitting BJP MLA Shailendra Singh Rawat. However, Rawat's picture now regularly features alongside Khanduri's in his publicity material.

"People of the state have known my work as the chief minister and I am confident of my victory," Khanduri told PTI over phone.

His opponent and leader of opposition in the last assembly, Harak Singh Rawat of Congress, too, has been forced to move from his Lansdown seat to contest from the Rudraprayag seat.

Rawat's arrival has led to two Congress rebels contesting from the same seat. Also, BJP candidate Matbar Singh Kandari, who happens to be his co-brother, is giving him a tough time.

Former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank of BJP, too, does not have the luxury of contesting from the Thalisain seat which he won time. Post delimitation that constituency is a part of the Srinagar seat, and Nishank had to shift his base to Doiwala in Dehradun district.

State Congress chief Yashpal Arya had a strong hold over the Mukteshwar seat, but delimitation forced a change in his plans also. Arya is now the Congress candidate from Bazpur constituency.

While the newly defined constituencies have meant problems for the established politicians, there are others who also feel affected.

"Since the delimitation was done on the basis of population, a lot of hill constituencies have got submerged in constituencies which are based in the terai or the plains. This may affect the development and character of this state," said Bhaawani Shankar Thapliyal, a resident of Pauri district.

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