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...The element of surprise in the poll verdict was indicated by poll pundits’ failure to correctly predict the victory margin of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Second, in a leaderless and issueless election, people just voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental agenda, highlighted by the slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (collective effort, inclusive growth). Third, it put an end to the role of independent candidates, considered indispensible in Uttarakhand politics due to their bargaining power in government formation either by BJP or Congress. Fourth, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, associated with Uttarakhand’s creation since the 1970s, could not open its account and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which used to get at least three seats from the plains of Uttarakhand, was totally rejected by the voters as was the Samajwadi Party (SP). ...Live Mint on April 19, 2017, 12:13 a.m.
...While an en masse exodus of Congress stalwarts to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has left the Congress high and dry with only Harish Rawat left as a big leader and lonely campaigner for the now ‘Harish Rawat Congress’, the BJP on the other hand, transformed into a mini-Congress, has to manoeuvre a strategy to neutralize the political ambitions of these powerful leaders if it gets a majority. Such a political kaleidoscope has created an interesting scenario—Congress leaders until recently charged with corruption and accumulation of unaccounted wealth by the BJP are now part of the BJP, and many BJP politicians have defected to the Congress. ...Live Mint on Feb. 15, 2017, 12:30 a.m.