Dharampur is a coveted Assembly seat of Uttarakhand that was contested by one Mr. Dinesh Aggarwal on the Congress ticket. Vinod Chamoli of the BJP who was the sitting Mayor of Dehradun Municipal Corporation at the time of assembly elections, won the seat.
Now as Dinesh Aggarwal has filed his nomination from the Congress party once again after his defeat from the Dharampur seat, many questions are being asked about his candidature for Dehradun Mayor elections as the Congress party’s candidate.
Of foremost importance is the question related to Dinesh Aggarwal’s sentiments and affections towards so-called “pahadi” voters. It is being heard that Dinesh Aggarwal is “pahad- virodhi” and therefore the locals and Garwalis are very agitated with him and do not favour him. Govind Singh Rawat from Dharampur who runs a tea stall says, “ Dharampur used to be a peaceful place. We are the locals of Dharampur, but Dinesh Aggarwal has encouraged and facilitated several illegal encroachments all over Dharampur mostly of people from Muzaffarnagar and Bijnaur.” Dharampur now has many illegal colonies popularly known as bastis and several encroachments by non Uttarakhand residents on the lands of Uttarakhandi natives, who are populary knows as Pahadis, of which most are Garwalis.
Pahadis unanimously voted for Mr. Vinod Chamoli, the ex- mayor of Dehradun and it is anticipated that this seat shall now be won by Sunil Uniyal Gama who is also a local unlike Dinesh Aggarwal, who has no real constituency in Dehradun and is considered to be an outsider.
Recent incidents in the city has pointed towards Dinesh Aggarwal’s close nexus with the Aggarwal land mafia, mainly consisting of real estate mafia dons from Muzaffarnagar. It is being told that Dinesh Aggarwal’s son is married to the Bansal family of Muzaffarnagar and that the Bansal’s are a land mafia with criminal antecedents. It is being said that Dinesh Aggarwal is operating through his son’s wife’s relatives Pankaj Aggarwal and Bansal of Muzaffarnagar.
Garwali locals who are known for their love for peace and non-violence are very scared that endorsing Dinesh Aggarwal might be an endorsement of violent politics in Dehradun and might lead to land grabbing on gun point and encroachment by the Aggarwal land mafia.
In this situation, the locals are asking, why has the Congress chosen Dinesh Aggarwal with criminal links? Does the Congress not have a better candidate for this election? Why is the Congress party suppressing Garwalis and giving more weightage to anti- Garwalis?