With the national political scene simmering for the next Lok Sabha elections, election fever has gripped Hamirpur too.
Leaders and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress Party have fanned out in villages to woo electors.
While the BJP has already announced candidature of Anurag Thakur for the third successive time for Hamirpur parliamentary seat, the Congress is still searching a suitable candidate, who can be a game changer.
Though the Congress had tried its best to find a candidate at national and state level, who could give a tough fight to Thakur. However, the party is yet to take the final decision in this regard.
The party would announce the name of the candidate in November, said Chander Kumar Chaudhry, party in-charge for Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat. “We will not spare any effort to win the Hamirpur seat,” he told HT.
Taking a lesson from his ouster from power, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has already started campaigning for the party, though Congress leaders led by Sunil Sharma, general secretary of the party state unit, followed BJP only two months back.
Meanwhile, Dhumal has been trying to woo electorates in an effort to retain the Hamirpur seat. Since his son Anuarg Thakur will be contesting from the constituency, Dhumal's prestige is at the stake too. He has started canvassing from various parts of Sujanpur assembly segment of the district, following the decision of Sujanpur MLA Rajendra Rana, an independent candidate, to become the associate member of the Congress party and to launch a pro-Congress campaign in the district.
Rana has been touring various parts of Hamirpur and Sujanpur assembly segments to make his presence felt. He can be a contender for the Congress party ticket from Hamirpur seat, as a section of the party considers him the strongest bet for the seat.
Unfazed by Rana's joining hands with the Congress, Dhumal has brought many recently retired servicemen of the district into the BJP's fold. He claimed that the party was united in the district.
He said the people of the district were highly upset with the Congress for its anti-Hamirpur policies and would teach the Congress a teething lesson in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Common man upset with rising prices of essential commodities
While leaders of both national parties are in an election mode much ahead of the announcement of the dates, the common man is upset with the rising prices of various essential commodities, growing unemployment and worsening of law and order situation, who has a feeling that both parties have done nothing for their welfare and have only minted money for themselves.
Ramesh Chand of Hamirpur, a daily paid worker having a family of six, feels that common man's life has become a hell amid rising prices and growing unemployment in state. He said: “It is becoming difficult to survive in such a situation.”
Sudesh Kumari, a retired government employee, said the condition of retired persons as well as working class was pathetic, and there were apprehensions that government employees would not get their salaries on time in the coming six months due to paucity of funds with the state exchequer.
She lambasted both Congress and BJP leaders for increasing their pensions at the cost of the poor.