DEHRADUN: Bhartiya Janata Party MLA Kailash Chandra Gahtori (54), who vacated Champawat assembly seat for Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, would have continued as a businessman in Madhya Pradesh if it was not for the fateful intervention of destiny.
“I am fortunate that honorable CM chose to contest by-polls from my seat. I am thankful to Lord Almighty for this opportunity,” says Gahtori who camps in Champawat in the ongoing campaign for the by-elections scheduled on May 31.
An art graduate born in 1968 in Champawat district, he was a successful builder in Madhya Pradesh.
A long-time member of BJP’s ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Gahtori returned to Uttarakhand in 2002 to unsuccessfully contest his first assembly elections from Champawat’s Lohaghat.
After 10 years in 2012, he joined the BJP and went on winning his first election as a Zila Panchayat member in Champawat. Assembly elections in 2017 proved a turning point for Gahtori who won by the margin of 17,360 votes amid the Modi wave when the BJP secured 57 out of 70 seats.
In the recently-concluded Assembly polls, his victory margin came down to one-third to 5304 votes.
The two-time BJP MLA still runs multiple businesses including hotels and schools in Champawat and other districts of the state.
After CM Dhami lost from Khatima seat but the BJP won 47 out of 70 seats, Gahtori was lost no time in announcing to vacate his seat for the chief minister. Later, at least half-a-dozen more MLAs joined the wagon.
However, the party leadership chose Champawat seat for the CM given the favorable track record for the party.