Mandi byelection: Rain fails to dampen leaders' political spirit | india | Hindustan Times
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Mandi byelection: Rain fails to dampen leaders' political spirit

india Updated: Jun 15, 2013 21:37 IST
Roop Upadhyay

In spite of incessant rain lashing the district, political leaders refrained from taking a break.

Rather than staying indoors, they came out in the field to organise corner meetings and door-to-door campaigns on Saturday.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Jairam Thakur, who campaigned in his home segment Seraj belt, addressed many corner meetings and approached voters at their doorstep throughout the day.

Reacting to the Congress' allegations that he was a weak candidate contesting unwillingly, Thakur said if he was weak then why was chief minister Virbhadra Singh campaigning door-to-door to seek votes.

“The six-time chief minister, four-time member of Parliament and union minister, Virbhadra Singh is covering 10 to 15 villages daily, even at such old age just to convince voters to support his wife Pratibha Singh. If I am a weak candidate then such a senior and powerful leader should have commanded electioneering while sitting at his residence Holy Lodge in Shimla instead of campaigning in the field day and night,” Thakur said.

He said the fact was just the opposite. “Not only Congress stalwart Virbhadra Singh, but his minister colleagues and second-line leadership are working hard because they know that I am not a weak opponent. Secondly, people are unhappy with the Congress government in just five months of their rule,” he said.

He said that not only the chief minister was campaigning for his wife, but his son and daughter were also out in the field to woo voters after realising that Pratibha Singh's position against the BJP candidate was degrading with each passing day.

He said Pratibha remained the MP from 2004 to 2009, but visited Mandi parliamentary constituency only on a few occasions like a tourist.

He said as the chief minister was busy in promoting members of his family, other senior leaders of the Congress were either feeling ignored or humiliated.

“The recent resignation and allegations of transport minister GS Bali are a true example of unrest among the Congress leaders. Bali clearly mentioned in his resignation that he was feeling suffocated because he was not authorised to take decisions,” Thakur said.

Meanwhile, beside three ministers from the district, no other top cadre leader of the Congress campaigned in favour of its nominee on Saturday.