Interview: Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat

Speaks to Kavita Upadhyay after the Congress’s debacle in all five seats in the state, including his own defeat from Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat.

What does this defeat mean for the Congress in Uttarakhand?

It is a big defeat for the party, but we will work together and ensure that we become stronger in future.

What does it mean to you, considering you lost the 2017 Assembly polls from two seats — Kichha and Haridwar Rural — and the BJP is claiming this is the end of your political career?

I am 71. Before these elections I had to ask myself whether I was ready for this, and I thought I was. But now I don’t think I will be able to contest another election. I will work for the party and help build party’s future leadership.

What do you think went wrong?

No one knows what may have gone wrong. No one has been able to make sense of the fact that people voted for a myth named (Narendra) Modi. But this myth will not last long. They (BJP) will eventually realise that adhering to promises is essential to win elections.

Do you feel your decision to contest from Nainital, instead of Haridwar, which you have earlier represented, was a wrong decision?

I do feel I took a wrong decision. There was anti-incumbency against the BJP in Haridwar. Had I contested from there, it would have been a close contest. I may even have won.

How will the Congress revive itself in Uttarakhand?

We will have to work on people’s issues. There is no other way to revive the party.

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