The BJP on Thursday announced that Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami will contest by-polls from the Champawat assembly seat to enter the state legislative assembly, a constitutional requirement for him to continue in the top post. After losing the Khatima seat in the elections held in February this year, Dhami needs to be a legislator within six months of taking oath as the CM.
The voting will take place on May 31 and the results will be declared on June 3.
Champawat MLA Kailash Chandra Gahtori had recently resigned to pave way for Dhami to contest the by-poll from there. The Champawat seat is adjacent to Khatima.
The BJP created history in the hill state by retaining power as every other previous government was voted out in the past. It won 47 seats in the 70-member assembly.
Dhami, a Thakur leader, was first sworn in as the Chief Minister last July. As a former president of the BJP youth wing, Dhami enjoys cordial relations with the young cadre. The party believes Dhami helped in checking anti-incumbency to a certain extent.
Meanwhile, the other two constituencies where the by-election will be held on May 31 are Brajrajnagar in Odisha and Thrikkakara in Kerala.
The nomination process will begin on May 4 when the notification will be issued. May 11 will be the last date for filing nominations, the EC had said in a statement on May 2.
While the last date for withdrawal of nominations for Thrikkakara is May 16, it is May 17 for Champawat and Brajrajnagar. The bypolls will also help the EC fill up vacancies in the electoral college which elects the President of India. The term of the incumbent President ends on July 24.
The by-election to the Brajrajnagar assembly seat was necessitated following the demise of Kishore Kumar Mohanty of the BJD. The bypoll in Thrikkakara was necessitated following the demise of P T Thomas of the Congress.
(with inputs from PTI)