The decision has been taken after serious deliberation between the Chief Minister and his political strategists. The decision in this regard may be announced within a week.

The sources said that the Chief Minister is under immense pressure to look for a safe seat from where he could secure his entry into the state assembly as the Congress has lost all the five Lok Sabha seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently concluded elections.

Rawat has compulsion of being elected to the assembly before July 31st, i.e. within six months of becoming Chie Minister of the state.

Two assembly seats have been vacated after Ajay Tamta, MLA from Someshwar assembly constituency, won Lok Sabha elections from Almora and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank from Haridwar. Nishank was an MLA from Doiwala assembly seat.

As Someshwar constituency is reserved, speculations are that the Chief Minister may contest from Doiwala seat but the chances are less.

But a section of Congress leaders want Rawat to contest from Doiwala seat and give a befitting reply to the BJP.  Doiwala falls under Haridwar Lok Sabha constituency which Rawat represented in Lok Sabha before becoming Chief Minister of Uttarakhand in February this year.
The Congress had to face anger of urban population in the Lok Sabha elections and hence the CM’s strategists are not willing to take any risk. They are busy in searching for a safe seat from where Rawat can enter into the assembly.

The other issue in front of Congress is to win both the seats vacated by the BJP as it will politically stabilize the Rawat-led-Uttarakhand government.

The Congress is considering Dharchula seat as the safest and its sitting MLA Harish Dhami is ready to vacate his seat for Rawat.    

In the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly Congress has 33 MLAs and enjoys the support of the seven-member Progressive Democratic Front.

Opposition BJP had 30 seats in the assembly until recently but the election of its two MLAs to the Lok Sabha has left it with 28 seats.

 (Agencies)

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