The battle between the Congress and the BJP in Uttarakhand would be interesting to watch. This small state was in the news in 2016 after the BJP sought to cash in on the internal bickering within the Congress and tried to overthrow the government.
The move was considered to be unnecessary and many questioned the BJP's logic of trying to destablise a government in a state which was just months away from polls. The BJP was pulled up by the court for trying to make a mockery out of the Constitution. Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who lose power briefly was reinstated following the SC's verdict.
For pollsters, it has been very difficult to predict a result in this state. While many felt that Rawat would ride the sympathy wave after his government was toppled, the current opinion polls give BJP the edge. In the past too, the margin of victory between the two parties has been minimal.
In the previous elections, the BJP had won 31 seats while the Congress bagged 32. In 2007, the Congress bagged 30 while the BJP won 32. The election this year around could also be a close call and other players, such as the independents, would have a role to play in who gets to form the government in this 70-member assembly.
Pollsters say that the sympathy factor for Rawat does not exist today. He may not find the going easy as what was being predicted in late 2016. The BJP has a slight edge, but there are certain issues such as demonetisation that are likely to make the ride harder for the party.
Rawat would like to prove that he was wrongly destablised. The BJP would want to win big and forget about the fiasco of 2016 in which it was pulled up badly by the Supreme Court and even lost it chance at forming the government.