Political parties gearing up for crucial contest

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Political parties gearing up for crucial contest

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 | PNS | DEHRADUN

Though date of election not declared yet, the by-election is expected to be held in November

Amid ongoing Panchayat elections in 12 districts of the State, the all important Pithoragarh Assembly by-election has started catching the fancy of political pundits. This seat was represented by former Finance Minister Prakash Pant and is present lying vacant after his untimely death in the month of June this year. As per the rules, a new representative is needed to be elected on such seats within six months which means that the process of election should end before the first week of December. Though the date of the bye -election has not been declared yet, it is believed that the by-election here would be held in the month of November.

The administration though has started preparing for the election. The EVM awareness campaign is at present going on in Pithoragarh.

In order to capture the sympathy votes, the BJP is expected to field Chandra Pant, the wife of Late Prakash Pant as its candidate however it is learnt that Chandra Pant who is a government teacher by profession is not interested in entering electoral politics. In such a case, the party may opt for his brother Bhupesh Pant at the hustings .

It is worth mentioning here that the BJP had fielded Munni Devi, the widow of late Magan Lal Shah as its candidate from Tharali assembly by-election held last year. Riding a tide of sympathy, Munni Devi emerged victorious defeating veteran Jeet Ram who was a formidable candidate.  The names of state spokesperson of BJP, Suresh Joshi, BJP district president Virendra Waldia and chairman of municipal council of Pithoragarh, Rajendra Singh Rawat are also making rounds in political circles.

From the Congress, former MLA, Mayukh Mahar is the natural contender, he however has exhibited no interest to contest the election. After the creation of a separate State, Pithoragarh Assembly segment has witnessed contest between Mahar and Prakash Pant on three occasions.

Pant defeated Mahar in the election of 2002 while in the election of 2007 Mahar shifted to nearby Kanalicheena constituency from where he defeated UKD stalwart Kashi Singh Airi. In the election of 2012, Mahar again contested from Pithoragarh against Pant and  emerged victorious in the contest. In the assembly elections of 2017, Pant took his revenge when he defeated Mahar.

The spokesperson of Congress, Mathura Dutt Joshi and Jagat Singh Khati are other contestants on which Congress can repose faith in case Mahar decides to opt out of these by elections.

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