Daughters of 2 former Uttarakhand CMs avenge their fathers’ defeat from same seat
HARIDWAR: Billed as a contest for avenging their fathers’ defeat, the daughters of two former Uttarakhand chief ministers, Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri and Harish Rawat respectively, have won the elections in Kotdwar and Haridwar rural assembly seats.
Ritu Bhushan Khanduri, daughter of former CM Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, and Anupama Rawat, daughter of Harish Rawat, have won the elections against the same rival candidates who had defeated their fathers from the same seats.
Former CM and union minister, major general (retd) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri was defeated from Kotdwar in 2012 and Harish Rawat was defeated from Haridwar rural in 2017. But their daughters proved giant killers as they won against the two heavyweight opponents who had defeated their fathers.
Ritu Bhushan Khanduri won against the Congress candidate and former cabinet minister Surendra Singh Negi on a BJP ticket from Kotdwar in Pauri Garhwal district while Anupama Rawat won against the BJP’s incumbent cabinet minister Swami Yatishwaranand from Haridwar rural by a margin of 4,472 votes.
Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, in the capacity of the state chief minister, had lost 2012 assembly election from Kotdwar segment against Surendra Singh Negi by a margin of 4,623 votes. Harish Rawat had lost against Swami Yatishwaranand by a margin of 12,278 votes in the previous 2017 assembly elections.
The victory for Ritu Khanduri assumes more importance as she was denied party ticket from her seat Yamkeshwar and later was asked to contest from Kotdwar.
Taking it in her stride, Ritu aggressively fought the election and also sought votes reminding voters about the 2012 defeat of her father, which, according to her, denied Kotdwar proper development and a tag of a CM’s home turf.
Similarly, Anupama Rawat surprised everyone with her victory notwithstanding that it was her maiden election and the opponent was on the verge of a third straight win.
“First of all, I want to thank the party high command and voters of Kotdwar for reposing faith in me. It is exactly a decade when my father had also contested from here and will work hard to ensure development and local people’s issues are taken up and solved,” said a victorious Ritu Bhushan Khanduri to media persons.
After being declared victorious, Anupama Rawat, at Shiv Dale school counting venue, said that it’s a victory of every voter who voted for her.
“Almighty’s blessings, voters’ support, love, guidance from father (Harish Rawat) and the party workers’ support ensured the party’s win from Haridwar rural. Hard work paid off and now more responsibility is ahead as Haridwar rural is a backward and neglected segment as far as development is concerned,” said Anupama Rawat.
According to political analysts, Harish Rawat ensured minority voters’ division doesn’t take place in Haridwar rural. Also, he kept visiting the rural area even after the election loss.
“Anupama also fought like a silent warrior who braved opposition from some party leaders who termed her as an outsider. She campaigned on foot to reach maximum voters at their door steps, which made her the first choice over the two- time saint-turned legislator,” said assistant professor of political science from SMJN college Vinay Thapliyal.