National

Campaigning picks up pace for U’khand civic polls

Dehradun : Campaigning by political parties is gaining momentum in Uttarakhand where civic bodies elections are scheduled for Sunday, as prominent leaders address one poll meeting after another to canvass for their parties’ official nominees.

Campaign vehicles of parties, loaded with posters, banners and their symbols are driving through the streets of the state to drum up support for candidates.

Slogans penetrate the air every time a poll vehicle speeds through a sleepy neighbourhood in town. Candidates are also conducting door-to-door campaigns to connect with people in different pockets.

While Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt are currently spearheading the party’s poll campaign, the next couple of days will see Bhojpuri film star and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari hitting the campaign trail in Uttarakhand.

The chief minister has already campaigned for the party’s mayoral candidates in Dehradun, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Kotdwar, besides holding back-to-back poll meetings in Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts.

Wherever the chief minister goes he seeks votes for the party nominees in the name of development and the state government’s policy of zero tolerance towards corruption.

He highlights fast tracking of infrastructure development projects both in the road and railways sectors by his government besides the crackdown on corruption which has sent over fifty people behind bars ever since the BJP took over last year.

Former chief minister and Nainital MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari Tuesday issued an appeal asking people to vote for the BJP if they wanted the benefits of welfare schemes to reach the common man.

Apologising for his inability to come to them personally due to health reasons, Koshiyari said he was confident that the people of the state would vote overwhelmingly in favour of BJP as they did in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the state assembly elections last year.

Seeking a mandate for the first time after coming to power in Uttarakhand with a massive win in assembly elections last year, it is going to be a high stakes battle for the BJP which faces the challenge of matching its own performance in these elections.

The BJP had won 57 out of a total of 70 assembly seats in the state in March last year.

The upcoming civic body polls are no less significant for the Congress either, as the outcome will be a pointer to what might happen to the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

AICC general secretary and former state chief minister Harish Rawat started campaigning for the party’s candidates in Dehradun Tuesday.

While campaigning for the Congress’s mayoral candidate for Dehradun, Dinesh Aggarwal, here on Tuesday, Rawat claimed people had seen how the BJP had failed to deliver despite enjoying a majority in Dehradun municipal corporation for ten long years.

“People know the truth about the BJP’s hollow promises now and will teach it a fitting lesson in the civic polls this time,” he said addressing a series of poll meetings in Dharampur area Tuesday.

The Congress has also released a vision document in view of the polls, terming a massive anti-encroachment drive conducted recently by the state government as an attempt to render people homeless and promising ownership rights to slum dwellers.

Campaigning will come to an end for civic body polls in the evening of November 16.

Voting will be held for 84 urban bodies, including 7 municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 Nagar panchayats, in a single phase on November 18.

PTI

 14/11/2018

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