Hamirpur (HP): Although the dates for the bye-elections for two Vidhan Sabha seats and one Lok sabha seat of the state are yet to be announced, hectic political activities have started in the BJP and the Congress party for the bye elections.
All these seats of Mandi Lok sabha, Fatehpur and Jubbal and Kotkhai Vidhan sabha seats had fallen vacant due to the sad demise of the sitting members there. While Mandi and Jubbel and Kotkhai seats were in possession of the BJP, the Fatehpur seat was with the Congress party.
The state unit of the BJP has already started its campaign for the selection of candidates for all the three seats and meetings of the senior leaders of the state unit of the party have been on going in Shimla these days.
The presence of the former Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal and his son, Anurag Thakur, who is the Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs has given the impression that the party leadership is taking the up coming by elections very seriously. The father-son duo has been given much prominence in these meetings.
Sources in the party say that the Dhumal’s are being given prominence role in the bye-elections as no election is due in Hamirpur from where they hail from.
However, another senior leader of the party and former Union Minister-cum-former HP Chief Minister, Shanta Kumar was not present in the meeting due to health reasons and has been advised by the Medical Officers not to venture out of Palampur.
The party has set up many committees for uniting the party and to win all the three seats with a massive majority.
It is once again meeting on June 30th to finalize the names of the candidates for all the three seats.
The party is going to make the issue of neat and clean governments both at the center and in the state, effective control of the COVID-19 and joint face of the party on all fronts.
Insiders in the party told UNI that the top national level leadership of the party, especially the All India BJP chief, JP Nadda who hails from Bilaspur district of the state has issued strict directions to the state unit to unite and ensure that the party was able to win both the assembly and lone Lok sabha seat where the bye-elections will be held shortly.
The presence of Sudan Singh, the Vice President of the national unit of the party is also giving the impression that the top leadership is not taking the affairs of Himachal Pradesh lightly as it has received many reports about the dissension in the party and failure of the party-led government to deal with the problems of the people where it had failed to win majority seats during the last Vidhan Sabha elections.
Singh is likely to submit his report to Nadda and also to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Based on these reports the names of the party candidates for the three seats would be finalized.
There are indications that the party leadership is going to give a major role to the Dhumal duo in the elections due to the reasons that while senior Dhumal had done a lot for the state while holding the office of the Chief Minister twice and his son, Anurag Thakur has been doing a lot during the current COVID-19 pandemic where he had provided Oxygen related material to all parts of the state especially in the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency which he represents in the Lok sabha.
The Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur is likely to be the chief election campaigner assisted by a team of ministers.
On other hand, the Congress party has also started a vigorous campaign for contesting three bye-elections and to unite the party to give a stiff fight to the BJP.
The party at the state level seems to be a divided house as reports of internal dissensions appear off and on and as such the top leadership had to come to Himachal Pradesh to sort out the issue.
While the present state leadership has clarified that it would contest the elections under the leadership of former Chief Minister, Vir Bhadra Singh, the serious health condition of the former Chief Minister has put the party in the doldrums.
Kuldip Rathore, the state party chief is sure that the party will overturn the applecart of the BJP in the coming bye-elections and win all the seats with a massive mandate.
He claims that the party is united and it will announce the names of its candidates for the coming bye-elections once the election dates were announced by the Election Commission of India.
Both parties have their mass base in the state and have ruled the state on an alternate basis, it is to be seen which party will be able to manage victory in the bye-elections with an eye on the Vidhan Sabha elections that will be held in 2022.