Shimla : Now only three days are left for the results of Himachal assembly elections to come. The state’s focus will once again be on 33 seats in three major political districts of Kangra, Mandi and Shimla. These districts will decide whether the practice of changing the BJP government in the state will change or the Congress will come to power by changing the rule. In Kangra, Mandi and Shimla districts, power will tilt towards the one who will have the upper hand. The seats of these three districts are decided by the government in Himachal, of which Kangra is the most important.
Actually Kangra district has maximum 15 seats. The number of seats is 10 in Mandi district and 08 in Shimla district. The party which has supported Kangra district in the assembly elections so far, has formed its government. In the 2017 state elections, the BJP won 11 seats from Kangra district, while the Congress got only three seats and one was won by an independent. Similarly, the Congress was swept clean in 10 seats in Mandi district. BJP won 09 seats and Independent won 01 seat. Due to the crushing defeat in Kangra and Mandi districts, the then Virbhadra government was thrown out of power. Apart from both the districts, 08 seats in Shimla district are also important. Congress had won 04 seats, BJP 03 and CPI(M) 01 seat in Shimla district, which was a bastion of Congress.
At stake are the reputations of three ministers Rakesh Pathania, Sarveen Chowdhary and Bikram Thakur, including Assembly Speaker Vipin Parmar from Kangra district. Rakesh Pathania has contested from Fatehpur instead of Noorpur this time.
The relief for the Congress in this district is that the BJP has to face insurgency and infighting in many seats. Rebels in Fatehpur, Dehra, Kangra, Dharamshala and Indora can spoil the BJP’s equation. Congress is in danger of rebellion on the reconciliation seat.
The credibility of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is at stake in his home district Mandi. Here the challenge for the BJP is to repeat the performance of the last election. Anil Sharma, son of Congress veteran and former Union minister late Sukhram, is once again trying his luck on a BJP ticket from Mandi Sadar.
In place of Mahendra Singh, a powerful minister in the Jairam government, his son Rajat Thakur is contesting from Dharampur seat. The special thing is that on two seats of this district Congress has made father and daughter candidates. Senior Congress leader and former minister Kaul Singh has contested from Drang while his daughter Champa Thakur has contested from Mandi Sadar. Everyone’s eyes will be on the election results of these hot seats. Both father and daughter have lost the last elections.
In Shimla district, the upper hand of Congress has been heavy every time. BJP cabinet minister Suresh Bhardwaj has been slightly changed in this election. Suresh Bhardwaj, who has scored a hat-trick from Shimla Urban, has contested from the Congress-dominated Kusumpati constituency, where Anirudh Singh of the Congress has been the MLA for the last 10 years. The BJP has made a huge reshuffle in the tickets here. New faces have been unveiled in Shimla Urban, Shimla Rural, Theog and Rampur.
The Congress is relying on the political status of Holiloj on eight seats in Shimla district. This is the home district of late Virbhadra Singh, six times CM and State Congress President Pratibha Singh. Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya Singh is in the fray for the second consecutive term from Shimla Rural.
This time, the way BJP and Congress kept Kangra, Mandi and Shimla districts in focus during the assembly elections, its effect will be seen in the results coming on December 08. Both the parties roped in their star campaigners for the election campaign. On behalf of the BJP, PM Narendra Modi, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, National President JP Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held vigorous rallies, while Congress National General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi fought alone on the front. However, in the last phase of the campaign, National President Malikarjun Kharge, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, Sachin Pilot also entered the fray.