Harish Rawat, Pushkar Singh Dhami
Dehradun: BJP ensures a safe lead in Uttarakhand with its candidates ahead in 46 seats. The major opposition Congress secures 20 seats here.
Congress leader Harish Rawat loses to BJP candidate Mohan Singh Bisht by over 14,000 votes, while his daughter Anupama Rawat is leading in Haridwar rural. Meanwhile Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is trailing by over 5,000 votes.
The Union Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party's election in-charge for Uttarakhand Pralhad Joshi said that the party's performance in the state polls was on the expected lines, saying that the people endorsed works done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami for the welfare of the people.
Counting of votes for the 70 assembly seats in Uttarakhand began on Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
The polling was held in the state on February 14 with more than 65 per cent of the electorate casting their votes.
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, the Congress is trying to stage a comeback.
Several political heavyweights are among a total of 632 candidates awaiting what electronic voting machines (EVMs) hold in store for them.
Prominent among them 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.