The BJP and Congress are going to face stiff opposition in two of the three constituencies in Kullu for the forthcoming Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh, with rebel leaders from both parties contesting the seats under the BSP banner.
Barring the remote Aani segment, where the Congress has a stronghold with sitting MLA Ishwar Dass making it to the Upper House seven times, it's going to be a tough contest among the BJP, the Congress and the BSP in the two segments, Kullu and Banjar.
The Congress is facing strong anti-incumbency, with allegations of Agriculture Minister Raj Krishan Gaur “favouring” his sons and denying Congress workers their due. Many Gaur supporters in the Kullu Assembly segment, are openly supporting party rebel and BSP nominee, Dharamvir Dhami. Gaur’s nephew Dhami, had won as an Independent in the last election by a sizeable 13,000 votes and is popular in the area.
“We have worked for the Congress for decades. Had Congress nominated Dhami, we would have supported the party. But Gaur Sahab has failed to satisfy party workers and the local populace. He is only promoting his sons. We have decided to support BSP,” said Arjun, a senior Congressman in Patlikuhl.
The BJP, on the other hand, has fielded Gobind Thakur in Kullu constituency, ignoring the claims of senior leader Maheshwar Singh, who comes from Manali and is popular among young voters. Thakur is the son of former BJP minister Kunj Lal Thakur who came a close second as an Independent last time.
In Banjar, former BJP minister and BSP candidate Karan Singh will face tough competition from BJP MLA Khimi Ram and Congress nominee, Satya Prakash Thakur.