The 2022 Uttarakhand assembly elections were held in a single phase for all 70 seats on 14 February. A total of 632 candidates were in the fray, including 152 independents, whose fates were sealed in electronic voting machines by the state’s electorate of around 81 lakh.
Like Punjab and Goa, the Aam Aadmi Party has tried to make inroads in Uttarakhand as well, which has otherwise had bipolar electoral contests between the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.
BJP is seeking a second consecutive term. Their election pitch included infrastructural works such as roadways, railways, and air connectivity projects. The reconstruction of the Kedarnath in the last five years was also hailed as a key achievement. The party also included criticism of the “politics of appeasement” from the Congress party in their campaign.
The Congress party raised the issues of inflation, unemployment and change of chief ministers in quick succession.
Prominent candidates from the BJP included Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his ministers Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal, Arvind Pandey, Dhan Singh Rawat and Rekha Arya besides state BJP president Madan Kaushik. Prominent candidates from the Congress include former chief minister Harish Rawat, former minister Yashpal Arya, state Congress president Ganesh Godiyal and Leader of Opposition in the fourth assembly Pritam Singh.
Similar to Punjab, AAP made populist promises in Uttarakhand as well, which included:
- Free electricity up to 300 units to every household
- Rs 1,000 per month to every woman above 18 years
- Unemployment allowance of Rs 5,000 per month
Uttarakhand recorded over 65 per cent voting. Notably, several people over 100 years of age voted in the elections, which included Vishweshwri Devi Naudiyal in Kotdwar in Pauri district and Narayan Singh Kapkot in Kapkot in Bageshwar district.
There were also reports from Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag and Pithoragarh districts where around 10 villages reportedly boycotted the elections because of non-construction of roads.