Polling began across 70 Assembly constituencies in Uttarakhand at 8 am on Monday.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking to retain power in the hill state while Congress is hoping for a comeback. Both the Congress and the BJP have battled political instability in the state in the last two decades after it was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 during former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure.
The BJP’s task is a twin – beat the anti-incumbency and also the electoral trend of the incumbent government voted out in the state. Uttarakhand, incidentally, has seen 11 Chief Ministers in the last two decades.
As per the set norms, the campaigning for the elections in the state ended on Saturday, February 12, at 6 pm.
The BJP has pitted fielded 11 cabinet Ministers and the state unit president Madan Kaushik. Incumbent Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is contesting for the third time from the Khatima Assembly seat and is facing Congress nominee Bhuwan Chandra Kapri.
Losing the last three elections on a streak, Congress veteran Harish Rawat is now contesting from a new assembly seat this time. He is in the electoral contest from Lalkuwa.
The new entrant into Uttarakhand politics, Aam Aadmi Party, has fielded candidates on all 70 Assembly seats, with its Chief Ministerial face being Ajay Kothiyal.
Voting also began in Goa and parts of Uttar Pradesh going to elections in the second phase on Monday at 7 am. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.