BJP emerges victorious in District Panchayat President polls

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Dehra Dun, Oct 10 (UNI) The BJP today consolidated its victory in the District Panchayat President elections winning nine of the total 12 seats and leaving arch rival Congress with only two seats.

Counting of votes for the posts of District Panchayat President and Vice-President in 12 districts of the state except Haridwar took place at 1000 hrs this morning and trends clearly indicated a smooth victory for the ruling BJP.

Drawing much attention to the BJP's victory in Chamoli district, was Ms Rajni Rawat, who after much persuasion, withdrew her nomination as an Independent candidate for the district's Panchayat President seat, paving the way for the party's official candidate Vijaya Rawat to win the seat by 22 votes.

As a successful Independent candidate, Ms Rawat had inked victory against BJP candidates in the recent block elections but her decision to withdraw her candidature for the seat had apparently much to do with her husband State Sports Minister Rajendra Singh Bhandari, if not only the BJP.

Mr Bhandari, who had contested as an Independent candidate against the BJP in the Vidhan Sabha elections two years back, had surprised the Congress when he opted to join the BJP government.

Ms Rawat's decision to opt out of the candidature had much to do with ostensibly ''saving'' her husband's portfolio in the B C Khanduri government.

On the other hand, the Independent candidate Madhu Chauhan, wife of BJP MLA Munna Singh Chauhan, decided against ''sacrificing'' her candidature and defeated Neeru Devi of the BJP from Dehra Dun.

In results declared this evening, the BJP trounced the Congress in Pithoragarh (Ranjana Devi), Uttarkashi (Narayan Singh), Almora (Mohan Ram), Pauri (Kesar Singh), Tehri (Ratan Singh Gunsola), Bageshwar (Ram Singh Koronga), Champavat (Prema Pandey), and Rudraprayag (Chandi Prasad Bhatt).

The Congress won from Nainital (Kamlesh Sharma) and Uddhamsingh Nagar (Sushila Gangavar).

UNI PB PD RP AS1841

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