Cong, BJP stalwarts confine themselves to their constituencies
With prestige at stake, the bigwigs of the mainstream parties are locked in the turf battle. Majority of the stalwarts of Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress have not been able to move out of their constituencies to campaign for other candidates.chandigarh Updated: Oct 27, 2012 19:59 IST
With prestige at stake, the bigwigs of the mainstream parties are locked in the turf battle. Majority of the stalwarts of Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress have not been able to move out of their constituencies to campaign for other candidates.
State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti, who is contesting his third election from Una, so far has remained entrenched among the electorates he has been representing. The reorganisation of the constituencies' boundaries in the delimitation exercise has added to the anxiety of the contestants. Santoshgarh nagar panchyat, which earlier was part of the Santoshgarh constituency has been merged into Una segment. This area is traditional Congress stronghold. Apart from this, the Congress' new face Satpal Singh Raizada is said to be gaining ground. There is growing fear in the Satti's camp that since Satti and Raizada are Rajput, Congress rebel former MLA OP Rattan may cut into the Brahmin votes, who mainly side with BJP.
Congress high profile leader and former transport minister GS Bali, who is contesting elections from Nagrota Bagwan, is facing a tough time at the hands of party rebel Arun Mehra alias Kuka and BJP's Mangal Chaudhary. Bali so far has not been able to move out of his constituency. "I have plans to canvass in the nearby Baijnath constituency. Let me see how I can adjust my visits," Bali told Hindustan Times.
At 85, Congress legislature party leader Vidya Stokes is engaged in the toughest political battle of her political career that spans over 38 years. Stokes, who is contesting from the Theog segment for the eighth time, is locked in a four-cornered constest. She faces BJP's formidable leader Rakesh Verma, who had trounced Stokes for the first time in 1993, besides CPM's popular leader Rakesh Singha, who had created history by clinching Shimla seat in 1993. Singha, who hails from Kotgarh, is a close relative of Stokes. Both Singha and Stokes have a common votebank. Stokes also faces Pramod Sharma, who is contesting on a Trinamool Congress ticket. Pramod, who had contested the last elections from Kumarsain, had impressed everybody with his voteshare.
Kangra's former Loksabha Member Chander Kumar, who is state Congress vice-president, is busy campaigning for his son Neeraj Bharti, who is contesting from Jwali Vidhan Sabha segment. On the other hand, All India Congress Committee secretary Asha Kumari is locked in a straight fight with her friend-turned-political-foe Renu Chadha. Asha Kumari till now has not been able to free herself to canvass for other candidates.
It's only former HPCC president Viplove Thakur, who is campaigning for other candidates. Viplove has toured Palampur, Dharamsala, Dehra and Jaswan Paragpur segments. HPCC president Virbhadra Singh is the lone star campaigner among the state leaders. Singh's wife Pratibha Singh is also touring different constituencies.
Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his MP son Anurag Thakur are holding the fort for the BJP, along with party's national vice-president Shanta Kumar, who is touring Kangra, Chamba and Una districts.
Himachal Lokhit Party chief Maheshwar Singh is concentrating on his own constituency Kullu.