Uttarakhand goes to the polls on Wednesday for its fourth Assembly elections since its formation after it was carved out from Uttar Pradesh in 2000. The electoral fight here has always been between the Congress and the BJP, but this time around the bipolar contest has been muddied with rebels from both parties expected to act as spoilers. By virtue of how the two national parties have conducted their campaigns, the election is billed as a contest between Chief Minister Harish Rawat of the Congress and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP. The Congress has sought to make the polls a referendum on the performance and image of Mr. Rawat. The Chief Minister lost his post temporarily last year with the imposition of President’s Rule, before a Supreme Court verdict returned him to power. The BJP has projected Mr. Modi as the face of its campaign, and focussed its attack on Mr. Rawat. This personality-centric strategy has meant that issues such as flood and disaster relief and reconstruction, protection of the environment and declining farm productivity in the hills have been pushed to the margins. Instead, the OROP issue, demonetisation — the effects of which are more pronounced in the plains than in the hills — and abstract promises on employment-centred development and promotion of tourism have found more air, as they were the calling cards of Mr. Modi and Mr. Rawat during the campaign. The two parties have relied on contrasting strategies, with the BJP undertaking a door-to-door, grassroots effort in the hills and the Congress fielding its campaign strategist Prashant Kishor to up its social media pitch. As has all along been the case in Uttarakhand, the contest is expected to be close.

The second phase of polling in U.P., in Rohilkhand, on Wednesday covers constituencies that have a relatively higher proportion of Muslim voters. Expectedly, the Samajwadi Party-Congress combine and the Bahujan Samaj Party have sought to consolidate minority support, which is reflected in the selection of candidates. However, reducing the contest in these seats in northwestern U.P. to merely the question of which party is more secular would be a disservice to the voters, who make up 17% of the State’s population and who live in a region with abysmal socio-economic indicators. While many of those engaged in the small-scale and unorganised sector have been severely affected by demonetisation, better agricultural productivity in the last year has helped farmers raise income levels. These developments are expected to have an impact on electoral choices, continuing the trend of unpredictability in the U.P. elections this year.

Source : THE HINDU


Carved (खुदी हुई) - Verb
  • Meaning - cut (a hard material) in order to produce an object, design, or inscription
  • Synonyms - sculptured, chased
  • Example - He carved a Buddhist image out of wood
Muddied (गंदा करना) - Verb
  • Meaning - cover or fill (something) with mud
  • Synonyms - untidy, dirty
  • Antonyms - fresh, neat
  • Example - The addition of the second batch of paint muddied the bright colors to a dull and washed look.
Rebels (विप्लव करना) 
  • Meaning - a person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or leader (Noun)
  • rise in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or leader (Verb)
  • Synonyms - insurgent, opponent
  • Antonyms - adherent, loyalist
  • Example - The rebels took control of the capital.
Referendum (जनमत संग्रह) - Noun
  • Meaning - a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision
  • Synonyms - election, vote
  • Example - The employees were asked to vote on a referendum about the company insurance plan.
Verdict (निर्णय) - Noun
  • Meaning - a decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest
  • Synonyms - answer, conclusion
  • Antonyms - accusation
  • Example - The lawyer suspected that the judge was bribed to arrive at a guilty verdict.
Abstract (भावात्मक) 
  • Meaning - existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence (Adjective)
  • consider something theoretically or separately from (something else) (Verb)
  • a summary of the contents of a book, article, or speech (Noun)
  • Synonyms - unreal, deep
  • Antonyms - simple, actual
  • Example - When I opened the board game, I was completely confused by the abstract instructions.
Abysmal (निराशाजनक) - Adjective
  • Meaning - extremely bad, appalling
  • Synonyms - endless, extreme
  • Antonyms - infinite, low
  • Example - There are millions of unemployed people in this abysmal job market.
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