Uttarakhand election 2017 result: Can the Congress stop lotus from blooming in the hill state?

Besides an anti-incumbency sentiment against the Congress government led by Harish Rawat, the infighting in the party has hit its prospects in the Uttarakhand election.

Uttarakhand, one of the last bastions of Congress, could see the lotus blooming this time as several of its influential leaders switched sides to the BJP ahead of the election.

Besides an anti-incumbency sentiment against the Congress government led by Harish Rawat, the infighting in the party has hit its prospects in the Uttarakhand election.

BJP too had its share of problems to deal with ahead of the election as several party workers expressed their displeasure over Congress turncoats being given tickets generously.

Yet, Congress leader Vijay Bahugana's switch to BJP is likely to work in the latter's favour.

A confident BJP attacked the Congress government for failing to usher in development in the state. Those who turned "devbhoomi into a loot bhoomi" must be taught a lesson, the Prime Minister said at his rallies in Srinagar and Pithoragarh ahead of the Uttarakhand election.

For Congress, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi took out a 75-km road show from Haridwar and hit back at the Prime Minister for his "loot" barb. He said BJP is now storing Congress' trash referring to Congress' Vijay Bahugana, Yashpal Arya and other partymen who deflected to BJP.

The BJP fielded as many as 11 defectors from the Garhwal region, which sends 22 MLAs to the Uttarakhand Assembly. Garhwal had been a BJP stronghold before the Congress won 12 seats in 2012.

The Uttarakhand election saw 69 constituencies voting on February 15 while Karnaprayag voted on March 9 due to the BSP candidate's death. A 68 per cent voter turnout was recorded on February 15 with 74 lakh voters exercising their franchise.