Kangra is Himachal Pradesh’s largest districts with 15 assembly segments in it and it is also believed that whichever party wins here, forms the government in the state. The fact that Congress is giving a tough fight to the BJP in its bastion is making the assembly elections due on 9 Nov even more interesting.
The ruling Congress is feeling a little sidelined as the Modi wave succeeded in leaving its charisma on the people in Himachal also. Even though not so confident, Congress is giving a tough fight to the BJP in Kangra and the credit may be given to the to rebellion by BJP functionaries in at least five assembly seats in the district.
During the polls in 2012, Congress had clean swiped Kangra by winning 10 of the 15 seats and formed the government in the state. While the BJP formed the government in 2007 by grabbing nine out of 15 seats in Kangra. Therefore it is believed by many that the party who wins Kangra wins the polls and Congress is a tough contender in the district this time.
Kangra has been a bastion of the BJP veteran Shanta Kumar, but recently the party is facing rebellion, in Palampur, where former MLA Parveen Kumar is openly challenging the official candidate, Indu Goswami. Indu is believed to be close to the Prime Minister and this is her first elections that she is contesting. She was the BJP Yuva Morcha vice-president when Modi was state in-charge in the mid-1980s.
Shanta Kumar who has was though not very happy with the party’s decision to overrule Parveen Kumar and give the ticket to Indu Goswami, he went to Kumar, to ask him to step down. Even after Parveen Kumar broke down in front of Shanta Kumar, he is still contesting the election against the official BJP candidate. Recently a video had also gone viral which showed Kumar breaking down in front of his 83-year-old guru.
As per the situations prevailing in Himachal, BJP is facing a rebellion in five assembly seats in Kangra district and the Congress is facing a challenge from within is only in Shahpur, Virbhadra Singh detractor, Vijay Singh Mankotia, has challenged Congress’ official candidate, Kewal Singh Pathania. But even if Congress somehow manages to nail Kangra, it is in a tough spot in the second largest district of Mandi, from where Anil Sharma the newly joined BJP member is contesting the polls.
Other than Kangra, BJP is facing two rebels in Fatehpur also, where Baldev Thakur and Rajan Sushant, are openly challenging the official candidate, Kripal Singh Parmar and BJP is trying hard to keep its members together. Another BJP member Ranveer Singh Nikka had threatened to file his nomination papers in Nurpur but decided otherwise after he was called to Delhi and decided to obey the high commands orders. In Jawali and Dharamshala also BJP rebel were cooled down with the help of the central leaders.
Also, another reason for concern for Congress is that Mandi is also a stronghold of former Congress leader Sukh Ram, whose son, Anil Sharma who recently joined BJP is contesting the polls.