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By 12’O clock there had been about 22 % polling in various assembly segments of Pauri Garhwal parliamentary constituency.
The BJP’s parliamentary candidate Tirath Singh Rawat cast his vote at the polling station near his village in Kaljikhaal Block while the Congress candidate and son of the veteran BJP sitting MP n former union minister as well as two times Uttarakhand CM Major General retired, Manish Khanduri has cast his vote at the Montessori School booth, Pauri Nagar Palika at 11.00 PM along with few local leaders.
There was quite a silence on the roads of Pauri township not giving the impression as if any parliamentary election is taking place.
Though women n senior citizens n middle aged electorates are gradually turning up at the polling booths but by 12.00 clock the polling percentage could no go up more than 22%. However in Tehri Garhwal the polling percentage was 37% n in Uttarakhand 42% by 1.00 PM which is phenomenal.
Looking after the previous records, it was 62 % polling in the Pauri Garhwal constituency n elsewhere in Uttarakhand in 2014 general election as it was unambiguously a Modi n saffron party wave then.
However, keeping in view the post Pulwama effect, contribution of Uttarakhand soldiers in anti extremist operations in Kashmir n their sacrifices for the country compounded with Modi charisma percolating down to villages n town including the feeling of ultra nationalism does have an impact on the minds of the people across all sections of the society.
The state’s anti incumbency, though existing seems to have been diluted under the increasing Modi effect.
Moreover, the sizeable number of votes of the Armymen n the the exservicemen in Pauri constituency which are considered to be the deciding factor seems to be tilting in favour of the saffron party.
However, the foreign return MBA from US n senior journalist turned Congress candidate with a chequred career, Manish Khanduri has left no stone unturned to campaign extensively touching every assembly segment of the constituency despite being the late comer in the fray.
He is a well read politician having come in the election fray for the very first time from a national party against the ruling party candidate Tirath Singh Rawat, the national general secretary of BJP who started his political career under the guidance n blessings of veteran MP from Pauri BC Khanduri.
Sounds interesting,as today the one time desciple of Major general Khanduri is a major challenge to his own son Manish Khanduri contesting on Congress ticket.
The way polling is going on, it seems that the percentage of votes polled may be around fifty to fifty five percent at the most.
The voters of Uttarakhand, this time sound to be silent, having already made up their mind which will be secretive till 23rd May when the results will be finally declared.
However, it still remains to be seen as to what negative impact, the Supreme court judgement on the controvertial Rafale matter put on the ruling BJP in Uttarakhand n other parts of the country announced just a day earlier to the polling. Meanwhile a 104 year old gentlemen of Pauri namely Haji Abdul Wahid today voted in the Nagar Palika polling booth in Pauri township.
Haji WahidSahib migrated to Pauri township in 1930 n voted for the first time in 1952 after independence in the first democratic elections. Since then he’d been regularly voting in every asssembly n parliamentary elections.
In an interview to Ashutosh Negi n me he shared the past experiences of post independent days and also revealed how late H. N. Bahuguna n he were active in the pre independence anti British movements in Allahabad as well whenthe British fixed Rs. 10000 as reward to anyone giving clue about Bahuguna dead or alive who wasthen a great headache to the British rule in Allahabad n UP.
There are about 13 lakh votes in Pauri Garhwal constituency and approximately 68 lakhs votes in 5 constituencies of Uttarakhand viz Pauri, Tehri, Garhwal, Haridwar, Almora and Nainital Udham Singh Nagar parliamentary seats.
41.7% polling in Uttarakhand till 1’0 clock. Post Pulwama attack.