DEHRADUN: Beating all electoral records in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami won Champawat by-polls by a margin of over 50,000 votes. In the process, he garnered 92.97% of the total votes cast by the people of the constituency.
“I am overwhelmed and speechless. I don’t know how to thank the people of Champawat for such an overwhelming love they have showered on me. I express my gratitude to the people of the constituency,” CM Dhami said after his win,
CM Dhami defeated his opponent Nirmala Gahtori of Congress by 55,025 votes which is the highest winning margin by any Uttarakhand CM since the formation of the hill state in the year 2000.
A total of 62,684 people cast their vote of which CM Dhami got 58,258 while his opponent Gahtori got only 3,233 votes.
Gahtori lost her deposits and could score only 0.51% of the total votes cast in the by-elections for which voting took place on May 31.
Interestingly, no sitting CM has been able to win the assembly elections but all incumbent CMs have won the by-polls.
The biggest win was scored by former CM Vijay Bahuguna who won by the vote margin of 39,900 from the Sitarganj seat in the year 2012.
Former CM ND Tiwari contested by-polls from Ramnagar seat in the year 2002 and won by 4915 votes.
Former CM Harish Rawat contested from Dharchula seat in the year 2014 and won by more than 19000 votes.
Former CM BC Khanduri contested and won from Dhumakot seat in the year 2007.
Political commentators said that this record win has cemented the position of the CM inside the party as well as in the political landscape of Uttarakhand.
“By winning with such record margins he has weakened his opponents inside the party too. Earlier, by leading the BJP to win the state assembly elections in March this year he had proved his political mettle to the central leadership of the party,” Jay Singh Rawat, a political commentator based in Dehradun, told The New Indian.
A Bharatiya Janata Party committee, after the 2022 assembly elections, in its report concluded that CM Dhami lost state assembly elections due to factionalism and internal sabotage.
The party had decided to ‘introspect and analyse’ the reasons behind the defeat on 23 state assembly constituencies in Uttarakhand including the Khatima seat from where the CM contested and lost by the margins of 6579 votes.
On May 28, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath while addressing a public rally in support of CM Dhami in Tanakpur of Champawat hinting at internal sabotage in Khatima seat 2022 state assembly elections had said that his scheduled public rally in Khatima was cancelled from where Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami lost.
“During Uttarakhand elections, I was supposed to come for some public meetings. But suddenly my meeting scheduled for Khatima was cancelled and my time was rescheduled for Tehri, Kotdwar and other places. Due to the honourable Prime Minister’s programme in Rudrapur, I wasn’t able to visit Khatima. I felt deep in my heart that if we would have gone to Khatima together the picture would have been different,” said Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.