The allocation of 65 out of 70 nominations for the Uttarakhand Assembly polls by the Congress on Thursday night seems to have given it an edge over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which witnessed a near revolt after the announcement of 48 nominations on Tuesday.
Alive to the BJP's experience, the Congress has nominated just two outsiders — Rajender Bhandari, former Minister for Panchayati Raj in the BJP government, from Badrinath, and Quazi Nizammudin, a former BSP MLA from Manglore in Haridwar district.
All but one sitting MLA have been fielded again. State Congress president Yashpal Arya will contest from Bajpur, Leader of the Opposition Harak Singh Rawat from Rudraprayag, Pritam Singh from Chakrata, Dinesh Aggarwal from Dharampur, Amrita Rawat from Ramnagar and Tilakraj Behad from Rudrapur. Indira Hirdyesh, second in-command in the N.D. Tiwari Cabinet, will contest from Haldwani. Satpal Brahmachari has been fielded from Haridwar.
Surendra Singh Negi will compete against Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri in Kotdwar.
The party is likely to accommodate one or two nominees of the former Chief Minister, N.D. Tiwari, in the five constituencies where nominated are yet to be announced, sources said. These seats are Dehra Dun Cantonment, Sahaspur and Doiwala in Dehra Dun, and Rudrapur and Kichcha in Udham Singh Nagar.