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The Many Myths That Continue Their Winning Streak in Uttarakhand Politics

Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami lost the polls from the Khatima constituency. (Pic: Twitter File @pushkardhami)

Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami lost the polls from the Khatima constituency. (Pic: Twitter File @pushkardhami)

Even politicians who have rejected these stories have often, through their actions, given new life to them.

Breaking the trend of swinging politics that never allowed the same party two consecutive terms in power, the BJP won 47 out of Uttarakhand’s 70 assembly constituencies in the recent elections. The party will form the government, but who will be the chief minister is still not known as pre-decided face Pushkar Singh Dhami lost the contest for the Khatima seat.

Dhami’s defeat has got some political commentators once again talking about the myths that remain unbroken in these elections. Other than the seat of the CM, there are stories linked to various political predicaments in Uttarakhand.

Chief ministers never win their seats in Uttarakhand

There are tales about those who have become the chief minister of the state losing their seat in the next elections. It can be a coincidence, but many people of Devbhoomi are so firm on this that they are blaming the fable for Dhami’s loss.

From Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, who became CM of Uttarakhand in 2007 and lost the next election of 2012, to Harish Rawat becoming CM and losing in 2017, added to the fact that he contested from two seats, the myth has got a boost every time in assembly elections here. In 2017, Trivendra Singh Rawat was announced as the CM by the BJP, but in the middle of his tenure, he was replaced with Tirath Singh Rawat. Pushkar Singh Dhami was chosen over Tirath Singh Rawat before the party finally entered the elections in 2022.

The fable is a point of discussion with Dhami, the incumbent chief minister, losing his seat. Bhagat Singh Koshyari is the only exception until now. He replaced Nityanand Swamy as the Uttarakhand CM in 2001. His party, the BJP was defeated in the assembly elections held in 2002 and he resigned though he won the polls from the Kakpot constituency. He was elected again from the same seat in 2007. But despite the BJP winning the elections, he was not made the chief minister and his rival BC Khanduri was picked instead.

Party winning from Gangotri forms government

This fable has been around in the region’s politics since 1952. Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000, but the myth remains unchanged.

The Gangotri seat was called Uttarkashi earlier. In the 1952 assembly elections, Jayendra Singh Bisht won from here as an independent candidate. However, he later joined the Congress, forming the government in the state. Since the time, whoever wins from this seat, his party makes the government.

In 2022, Suresh Singh Chauhan of the BJP was victorious from here, defeating Ajay Kothiyal of the Aam Aadmi Party and Vijaypal Singh of the Congress. With Chauhan’s win, the BJP also got the majority in the polls, making it clear that it will form the government.

CM living in official residence doesn’t complete 5-year term

Pushkar Singh Dhami moved into his official residence in July 2021. Though he denied any alleged superstition linked to the house, before his shift there, priests conducted religious rituals for almost six days. Sources pointed out that some Vaastu corrections were also made to “keep the house free from any sort of negative energy”.

The legend is that CMs who have stayed in this bungalow have failed to complete a five-year term. The house, with 60 rooms, was built in 2010. Because of the alleged inauspiciousness, chief ministers like Harish Singh Rawat and Tirath Singh Rawat stayed away from it.

There is speculation that Dhami would be chosen as CM once again. But until now, the myth remains unbroken.

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