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Of women power & real poll issues

February 14, 2007 11:31 IST

Women power and the voters' assessment of basic problems like power, water and roads will decide who will represent them from backward Pithogarh assembly constituency in Uttaranchal, going to polls on February 21.

Women outnumber male voters in Pithoragarh where sitting Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and former Speaker Prakash Pant is pitted against Ravindra Bisht of Congress.

While Pant is banking on his regular touch with the people of his constituency, Bisht is relying on his traditional vote bank like Dalits, Thakurs and minorities.

However, Pant, who had won with a comfortable margin of 6000 votes in 2002 polls, has a tough task at hand this time as Congress does not have cope with rebel nominee.

In Kanalichhina, Uttarakhand Kranti Dal's leader and sitting legislator Kashi Singh Airy is locked in a triangular fight with Congress and BJP in a constituency where poor road connectivity is the main issue.

Airy is not only struggling with the anti-incumbency but also the charge of not solving the problems of people of his area.

Mayuk Mehar of Congress is coping with the tag of an 'outsider' as he has shifted his constituency to Kanalichhina from Pithoragarh.

In Didihaat, where too the poor connectivity is a major issue along with closure of liquor shops, BJP's sitting legislator Bishan Singh Chufal is facing a tough challenge from UKD's Ghanshyam Joshi and Congress' Hem Pant.

Jagjivan Kanyal, who joined Congress from BJP just before the announcement of elections, is also in fray as an independent candidate after not being given nomination by Congress.

In Gangolihaat (reserve), Narayan Ram of Congress, who managed to win the last assembly elections with a narrow margin of 470 votes, this time, seems comfortable owing to the developmental work done in his constituency.

However, Fakir Ram, a rebel Congress leader who is also in fray as an independent candidate, might queer Ram's pitch.

In the tribal constituency of Dharchoola, employment for locals in the proposed hydro electric projects and relief to villagers from the notification of a deer sanctuary are the main issues, which are troubling the voters as much as the contestants.

The main candidates in the constituency are sitting legislators Gangan Singh Rajbar who is fighting as an independent after being denied ticket by Congress, which has fielded Shankuntala Datal, BJP's Kundan Singh Tolia and UKD's Lal Singh Khampa.

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