BJP marching ahead in Uttarakhand, CM Dhami trailing
The ruling BJP secured a comfortable lead in Uttarakhand on Thursday with its candidates ahead in 44 assembly seats while the main opposition Congress was ahead in 22 seats, according to poll trends available.
BJP's Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was, however, trailing behind Bhuwan Chandra Kapri of the Congress by 954 votes in Khatima, according to trends available for all 70 seats in the state.
BSP and Independent candidates were ahead on two seats each, the Election Commission said.
Prominent candidates trailing in their respective seats included Congress veteran Harish Rawat, who was behind Mohan Singh Bisht of the BJP by 7,085 votes in Lalkuan and Subodh Uniyal of the BJP who was trailing behind Om Gopal Rawat of the Congress in Narendra Nagar by 1,544 votes.
Yashpal Arya, who had returned to the Congress fold from the BJP ahead of the polls, was also trailing behind BJP's Rajesh Kumar in Bajpur by 3,163 votes.
Pritam Singh of the Congress was leading in Chakrata by 18,05 votes against Ramsharan Nautiyal of the BJP.
The ruling BJP is seeking a second consecutive term in office this time, something which has never happened in the state's 21-year history.
Routed in the 2017 assembly polls with a tally of 11 seats against the BJP's 57, Congress is trying to stage a comeback.
Prominent candidates who contested the polls are Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Bansidhar Bhagat, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya, besides state BJP president Madan Kaushik.
Important Congress leaders whose fate will be decided include former chief minister Harish Rawat, former minister Yashpal Arya, state Congress president Ganesh Godiyal and Leader of Opposition in the fourth assembly Pritam Singh.