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Indifference of voters, decimation of Congress gives advantage to BJP in Kumoan hills   

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Indifference of voters, decimation of Congress gives advantage to BJP in Kumoan hills

B.D. Kasniyal
Pithoragarh, April 8

With only eleven days left for the polling for the five parliamentary constituencies of Uttarakhand, there is complete lack of enthusiasm amongst the voters as compared to the past two Lok Sabha elections in the hills of Kumoan region.

Interestingly, despite having a positive attitude towards ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the voters are subdued and not much enthusiastic about the charisma of Narendra Modi as compared to last two elections.

The complete decimation of Congress party to take on ruling BJP at the grass root level as given an advantage to the BJP.

In Almora town, which is known as the nerve centre of Kumoan region political workers are of the opinion that although there is no negativity towards Modi but there is no Modi wave either. “Had the Congress party been active in the region from last five years, it would have given a tough contest to the ruling BJP as the voters are neutral but in the absence of any worthwhile opposition would vote for the ruling dispensation,” said Vinay Kirola, a social and political worker in Almora.

Niranjan Pandey, resident of Dhari village of Almora believed that Modi will again get most of polled votes this time despite the indifference of the voters.

“We voted for Modi in last two general elections beginning from 2014, but our local problems were not sorted out by administration. The 22 km long road to Aalam Darma village from Madkot could not be constructed till date despite the fact that nine freedom fighters belonged to Aalam Darma village,” said Anand Giri, a resident of Ropara village near Madkot.”Only hardcore Modi supporters will come to vote,”added Giri.

People are also disappointed as the 5 km long road to his village from Madkot could not get completed despite being sanctioned in 2014.”The apathy towards local needs could result into less polling,” said Girish.

The polling percentage in this parliamentary constituency surged suddenly after 2014 election after the rise of Modi as BJP Prime Ministerial aspirant. The polling percentage, that remained at 49.25, and 53.96 percent in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections in Uttarakhand suddenly rose to 62.15 and 61.50 percent in 2014 and 2019 respectively after the rise of Modi.

” The surge of polling percentage might either remain same or even decrease in the forthcoming election as local infrastructure needs like road, water health could not be fulfilled by administration taking advantage of strong Modi wave,” said Chandra Singh Dhami, a villager from Aalam Darma.

Bhim Singh Rana (66), a BJP supporter and resident of Salla village of Pithoragarh district under Almora parliamentary constituency, says that the villagers are not so enthusiastic to poll this time.”Even candidates of parties and workers are not visible in our area till date, though support for Modi is still there but it is not vocal and visible this year,” said Rana .

The opposition Congress party is completely missing in the field.” Had they reached the villages this time, they would have attracted the attention of the voters in this election,” said Rana.

Puran Pandey, a resident of Munsiyari town in Dharchula assembly constituency, said that the voters are indifferent to vote this election as their problems of drinking water and health were not solved in last decade.”As far as the free ration and other beneficiary scheme of Modi government are concerned people have taken these for granted and were expecting much more,” said Pandey.

Neeraj Singh Saun, a BJP worker who toured the villages of Himtar, Chingri, Salla, sail, Taremiyan and Rawatgara villages near Indo-Nepal border in Pithoragarh assembly constituency of Almora parliamentary seat for publicity of his party said that the enthusiasm that was seen amongst villagers in the last two elections has been missing.”In the last two elections, the villagers used enthusiastically gather around the BJP teams but this time very few villagers came to listen to us ,” said Saun.

In Bageshwar district of Kumoan, the enthusiasm is missing amongst the voters. “While BJP leaders are confident of winning and are not spending money on workers and poll campaign, the Congress party has no money to spend,” said Ghanshyam Joshi, a journalist based in Bageshwar. The vote percentage of Congress party in Almora as well as other opposition parties in other places, will increase, claimed Joshi.

In Champawat district where two assembly segments of Champawat and Lohaghat are parts of Almora constituency, common people are suffering from lack of health and road infrastructure in interior places of the district.” It seems the voting percentage will go down this election as some educated people have now started thinking in context of local needs of health and roads beyond the Modi wave,” said Santosh Joshi, a journalist based in Champawat.

Despite the fact that only 10 days are left for polling, no candidate from the two main rival parties has come to address any meeting iñ the town till date.

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