Uttarakhand Kranti Dal hoping for revival of political fortunes

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Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD), the party which had initiated and led the struggle for the formation of a separate hill state from Uttar Pradesh, is hoping to revive its political fortunes in this year’s assembly elections.

The UKD believes that the entry of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and anti-incumbency against the state government will help the party.

In the last assembly polls in 2017, the UKD failed to win even one seat.

UKD national spokesperson Vijay Kumar Bauri told IANS that the party is strongly placed in over a dozen seats and will make re-entry into the Uttarakhand assembly.

“In this election, the UKD is strongly placed in around 12-15 assembly seats. Some of our candidates are all set to win as there is strong anti-incumbency and people’s anger against Congress will also benefit,” Bauri said.

In this year’s Uttarakhand assembly polls, the UKD has fielded candidates in 49 assembly constituencies and extended support to candidates in two assembly seats.

The UKD believes that regional sentiments like other states of the country are increasing among people in Uttarakhand.

“There is a strong regional sentiment in Uttarakhand like Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana or Maharashtra. People are angry against both the parties — BJP and Congress, and are looking at UKD as a regional alternative which will also benefit us in polls,” he said.

He claims that people are not ready to accept AAP as the party of Uttarakhand and call it the party from Delhi.

“AAP is from outside… trying to fill the space for regional parties in the state, but we are the only regional party in Uttarakhand. People are saying what they (AAP) know about Uttarakhand. With the entry of AAP, people have started looking at UKD as an alternative to Congress and BJP instead of new entrants,” Bauri said.

The UKD was formed in July 1979 at Mussoorie and was instrumental in carving out Uttarakhand from Uttar Pradesh in 2000. But the UKD was never close to winning a majority in the 22-year-old history of Uttarakhand, however, helped both BJP and Congress to form the government in the state from time to time.

When asked about UKD’s failure to emerge as a force to reckon with in the state despite only being a regional party and who fought for creation of separate state, Bauri mentioned that some political decision which went against the party, lack of proper resource to contest the polls and BJP getting stronger as reasons for it.

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