Dehra Dun: Congress on Tuesday night appeared on course to form government in Uttarakhand after it took a wafer-thin one seat advantage over ruling BJP in a cliff-hanger of a contest in state assembly polls.

Out of all the 70 results, Congress won 32 seats—four short of majority in the 70-member House--and ruling BJP followed closely with 31 seats.

Congress sources said the party would seek the support from three successful independent candidates as well as UKD, which won one seat, for government-making.

BSP won three seats and could also hold the government formation in the state.

As Congress emerged as the single largest party, a delegation of the party called on Governor Margaret Alva late this evening and staked claim to form new government. Congress has also convened a meeting of the CLP on Wednesday, party sources said.

The biggest setback for BJP came when chief minister B C Khanduri, who led the party at the hustings, was defeated by S S Negi of Congress from Kotdwar seat by 4632 votes.

He is the first Chief Minister who lost the elections in the 12-year history of the state carved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000.

Congress and BSP failed to make headway in Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar districts this time which have a sizeable Muslim population. In both the two districts, BJP sprang a surprise by bagging 12 out of a total 20 seats.

Former minister and Congress leader Indira Haridayesh wrested Haldwani seat from BJP by Renu Adhikari.

State BJP president Bishan Singh Chufal won from Didihaat constituency. PCC chief Yashpal Arya emerged triumphant from Baajpur seat and the leader of the opposition Harak Singh Rawat won from Rudraprayag seat. Both Arya and Rawat are being seen as hot contenders for the post of chief minister.

A number of ministers in the BJP government, including Parliamentary Affairs minister Prakash Pant, Agriculture Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Revenue Minister Diwakar Bhatt and Education Minister Matbar Singh Kandari were defeated at the hustings.

BJP strives for coalition in Uttarakhand

New Delhi: Facing defeat in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP is just one seat behind the Congress in Uttarakhand and will make all effort to retain its power in the state by forging a coalition.

Shaken by the dismal performance in UP, the defeat of Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri from Kotdwar seat came as a severe jolt to the BJP.
However, it is confident of forming government in Goa.

With a hung assembly in Uttarakhand, the Central Parliamentary Board of the BJP has decided to search for possibilities to regain power in the state. Taking steps in this direction, the party high command has made national president Rajnath Singh and general secretary Anant Kumar as the supervisor in Uttarakhand before it could embark on a bold gambit. The BJP has interacted with the three Independent candidates and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) in this regard.

Rolling victory in Punjab and Goa, one of the senior party leaders will visit both the states on Wednesday to take stock of the situation. In Punjab the BJP stalwart and the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley along with senior party member Ramlal will take part in the deliberations of forming the new government, whereas in Goa Ravishanker Prasad and Venkaiah will go as supervisors. In Goa the party has already declared Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari accepted that the results in UP was not upto their expectations and there was a need to introspect.

"In Uttar Pradesh, the results have not been upto our expectations. There was a polarisation of votes between two parties. The people were against Mayawati and so chose Samajwadi Party as the alternative," Gadkari said.

He reasoned that since there was resentment against BSP rule and the electorate wanted to choose a party which was in a position to get the majority, the voters felt their vote would go waste if they voted for any other party other than the SP. He said the party does not hold anybody responsible for its performance in UP.