In Shimla rural, its a battle between Virbhadra’s son and protege | assembly-elections$HP-2017 | Hindustan Times
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In Shimla rural, its a battle between Virbhadra’s son and protege

Shimla rural which was carved out by merging Sunni-Bhajji part of Kumarsain and other part of Kasumpati assembly segments, first went to polls in 2012.

HimachalPradeshElection2017 Updated: Nov 06, 2017 14:14 IST
Saurabh Chauhan
Pramod Sharma and Vikramaditya.
Pramod Sharma and Vikramaditya.(HT Photo)

The electorate in Shimla (rural) is virtually divided as the battle in this constituency is going to be between Virbhadra Singh’s son—Vikramaditya—and his protege Pramod Sharma.

Shimla rural which was carved out by merging Sunni-Bhajji part of Kumarsain and other part of Kasumpati assembly segments, first went to polls in 2012.

Virbhadra Singh, who was the first MLA of newly delimited constituency in 2012, has this time Singh shifted to the adjacent Arki assembly constituency, making way for his son Vikramaditya. Singh Junior, 29, is sweating it out to win the seat as he is pitted against his father’s one-time loyalist Pramod Sharma, 50.

Virbhadra Singh remains silent on his former protégé Sharma,a professor of management at Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), but Vikramaditya Singh minces no words while attacking his electoral opponent.

Shimla rural has four candidates in the fray. Besides Singh and Sharma, two independents Mohan Das and Kushal Raj will be contesting from the seat.

The Congress is mainly banking upon the development works carried out by the state government while the BJP is calling the election a battle between royals and commoners.

“Chief minister Virbhadra Singh is our MLA and he has carried out all around development. Now Tikka Sahib (Royal prince) is contesting from here. Let us see how people support him,” said Lalit Sharma, a Shimla rural resident.

Pramod Sharma is not new to this segment. Most of the rural areas of this segment were earlier a part of Kumarsain assembly segment, which were later fragmented and then merged into Theog and Shimla rural. Pramod had contested two elections from Kumarsain and secured a good number of votes from these areas.

This time, when the BJP decided to nominate him as its candidate from the segment, Sharma revived his old team, as the party put in efforts to placate rebels.

Once a staunch loyalist Sharma had sought votes in the name Virbhadra Singh several times in the past when he was active in Kumarsain. It seems Sharma hasn’t forgotten his old loyalties. He hasn’t attacked Vikramaditya even once during the campaign, sticking to only asking people to vote for the BJP. “I will be here with you,” he tells the public during his meetings.