Harak, Yashpal major gains for Cong in U"khand ahead of polls

  • | Saturday | 22nd January, 2022

Dehradun, Jan 22 (PTI) The reinduction of Harak Singh Rawat and Yashpal Arya into the Congress is being seen as a major gain for the party ahead of the February 14 assembly polls in Uttarakhand. There was a dearth of big faces in the Congress after the exit of prominent leaders from the party following a revolt against the Harish Rawat government in 2016. While Harak Singh Rawat, a prominent leader from the Garhwal rejoined the party on Friday, Arya, a major SC leader from Kumaon division returned to the party along with his MLA son Sanjeev in October last year. Both Rawat and Arya are experienced leaders whose re-entry into the Congress comes as a major boost for the party ahead of the comping assembly polls. Rawat has never lost in any of the four assembly polls held in Uttarakhand since its creation in 2000 although he contested from four different seats. He has also held ministerial positions in both undivided Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Yashpal Arya who held key positions like that of the state assembly speaker, Pradesh Congress president and a minister under the chief ministership of both Vijay Bahuguna and Harish Rawat is capable of playing a decisive role for the party on 12 SC seats in the state as he is seen as the tallest Dalit leader in the state. The SC seats where Yashpal Arya"s presence can shore up the Congress" chances are Purola, Tharali, Ghansali, Rajpur Road, Jwalapur, Bhagwanpur, Pauri, Gangolihat, Bageshwar, Someshwar, Nainital and Bajpur. Arya had won from Bajpur in 2017 on a BJP ticket with more than 54,000 votes. With their return to the party, it does not look like an entirely depleted side in the upcoming polls as it did in 2017 with most of its big leaders adorning the ranks of BJP at that time, political observers here feel. "Both leaders are seasoned politicians with decades of experience. Their reinduction into the party will definitely brighten its prospects further," Pradesh Congress general secretary Mathura Dutt Joshi said. PTI ALM RAX RAX

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