Uttarakhand battle heads for close finish between BJP, Congress (Seventh Lead)
Dehradun, March 6 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress were locked in a nail-biting seesaw battle as Uttarakhand Tuesday appeared poised for a hung assembly amid no clear winner in the 70-member house.
According to the voting results Tuesday evening, the BJP and the Congress had won 28 seats each. But the opposition Congress held an edge as it was leading on four seats while the ruling BJP was leading on three.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which may hold the key to the government formation in the hill state won three seats and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal-Panwar one. Others have won three seats.
The BJP faced a major setback with Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri losing to S.S. Negi of the Congress in Kotdwar by over 4,600 votes. But BJP state president Bishan Singh Chufal won from Didihaat defeating his closest rival Rewati Joshi of the Congress by over 10,600 votes.
Both the Congress and the BJP have already expressed confidence they would form the new government.
Congress leader and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Harish Rawat said his party will form the government in the hill state.
"The Congress will form the government in Uttarakhand, that I am confident," said Rawat.
The BJP also expressed confidence of retaining power in the state.
"We are coming back to power in Uttarakhand," BJP youth leader Anurag Thakur said.
"There are only 70 seats, one or two seats will make a big difference. We will be in position to form the government in Uttarakhand," Thakur said.