Around 74. 20 lakh voters will decide the fate of 628 candidates as 69 of a total of 70 assembly seats will go to polls in the single phase assembly elections in Uttarakhand on Wednesday. Meanwhile, 68 per cent voting has already taken place in the state till 5 pm. The polling to Karnaprayag constituency of the state was adjourned due to the death of BSP candidate Kuldeep Singh Kanwasi and it will now be held on March 9.
The election in the hill state is considered as a straight contest between the ruling Congress and BJP. However, the presence of about a dozen rebel candidates in the fray as independents may upset the calculations.
Uttarakhand was formed on the 9th November 2000 as the 27th State of India, when it was carved out of northern Uttar Pradesh. Located at the foothills of the Himalayan mountain ranges, it is largely a hilly State, having international boundaries with China (Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east. On its north-west lies Himachal Pradesh, while on the south is Uttar Pradesh. It is rich in natural resources especially water and forests with many glaciers, rivers, dense forests and snow-clad mountain peaks. Char-dhams, the four most sacred and revered Hindu temples of Badrinath,Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri are nestled in the mighty mountains. It’s truly God’s Land (Dev Bhoomi). Dehradun is the Capital of Uttarakhand. It is one of the most beautiful resort in the submountain tracts of India, known for its scenic surroundings. The town lies in the Dun Valley, on the watershed of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers.
The Chief Electoral Office in Uttarakhand works under the guidance of the Election Commission of India. The elections to State Assembly and both houses of Parliament are conducted by the office of Chief Electoral Officer. He/She is responsible for conducting free and fair elections across the State of Uttarakhand.
In all 13 districts, District Magistrate is the District Election Officer. For Election related work District Election Officers work under the superintendence (direction or guidance or management) of the Chief Electoral Officer. Chief Electoral Officer's Office along with the District Election Officer, Deputy District Election Officer and Assistant District Election Officer level officers are responsible for proper conduct of elections, preparation of Rolls, providing Electors' Photo Identity Card (EPIC), arrangement of Polling Stations, provision of men and material, enforcing model code of conduct, keeping track of candidate's expenditure are the major tasks during every election.
In the new state of Uttarakhand the first General Elections of Local Bodies were successfully conducted by State Election Commission, Uttarakhand in the month of January to February, 2003 in all 13 Districts of the state. While the General Elections of Three Tier Panchayat were held in the month of February to April, 2003 in 12 Districts in state (Excluding District-Haridwar). General Election to the Three Tier Panchayat in the District of Haridwar were conducted by State Election Commission in the month of September to October, 2005. In the year 2008, in all 13 districts of the state, the elections of Local bodies i.e. Mayor and 60 ward members of 1 (one) Municipal Corporation and 32 chairpersons and 402 members of 32 Nagar Palika Parishads, 27 Chairpersons and 172 members, 27 Nagar Panchayats in which 1417341 voters used their franchise were successfully conducted by State Election Commission, Uttarakhand.
In the year 2008, in three tier panchayat elections of the 12 district of the state, 46559 members of Gram Panchayat, 3075 members of Kshetra Panchayat, 371 members of Zila Panchayat and 7239 Pradhan Gram Panchayats in which 4344573 voters exercised their franchise were successfully conducted by State Election Commission, Uttarakhand. Apart from this, the election of 89 Pramukh, 89 Jestha Up Pramukh, 89 Kanistha Up Pramukh, 12 Adhyakshs and 12 Upadhayaks of 12 Zila Panchayats and 7211 Up Pradhan were also successfully conducted by State Election Commission, Uttarakhand.
In year 2008 for the first time the State Election Commission, Uttarakhand introduced EVMs in Dehradun Nagar Nigam (Municipal Corporation) Elections and succeeded in conducting free, fair and peaceful poll.