Shimla April, 8; Campaigning for the Bhoranj by-poll came to an end today with the two main political parties Congress and the BJP putting in their might to register victory in an election, which could set the tenor for the Assembly polls due later this year.
Being termed as the semi-final before the electoral final is played out in November, registering a win is important for both the parties. Being a BJP citadel for the last 27 years from where former Minister ID Dhiman won six consecutive elections, the opposition has worked overtime to ensure that they retain the reserved Assembly segment in Hamirpur district.
Despite the presence of rebels, both of the Congress and the BJP in the fray, the contest is primarily between the two main parties. There are a total of five candidates – Dr Anil Dhiman (BJP), Parmila Devi (Congress) and three independents – Pawan Kumar (BJP rebel), Ramesh Chand (Congress rebel) and Kusum Kumari. Ramesh Chand had contested the 2012 Assembly poll on the Congress ticket unsuccessfully and lost by 10,500 votes.
As far as the BJP rebel Pawan Kumar is concerned, he is a sitting Zila Parishad Member from Bhoranj ward. He had also contested the 2012 Assembly polls against ID Dhiman on the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) ticket and polled 891 votes. As such both the Congress and BJP rebels have almost equal standing and could poll a small percentage of votes, which would get negated as both parties stand to get damaged almost equally.
Being the ruling party, the Congress is under tremendous pressure to wrest the seat from the BJP. However, the timing of the court verdict in the cases faced by the Chief Minister could upset the Congress game plan with ministers and close Virbhadra aides camping in Delhi and joining the campaign only during the last two days.
On a high after the resounding victory of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP is confident of retaining the seat. “The BJP has undertaken unprecedented development works in the Bhoranj segment and people still have a lot of regard for ID Dhiman, who enjoyed an impeccable image and excellent rapport with the electorate,” said Randhir Sharma, MLA and overall BJP election in-charge in Bhoranj.
Harping on the issue of BJP promoting ‘parivarvaad’ and dynastic politics, the Congress is hoping to encash on anti-incumbency and need for a change. “The Congress has fielded a young, educated lady from a dalit family who is getting very good response, so we are hopeful that the Congress flag will fly high,” said Ram Lal Thakur, former Minister.
News Source Tribune India