The Bharatiya Janata Party has started campaigning in the Sujanpur assembly constituency, where a bypoll for the assembly seat will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections on May 7. This follows the decision of the party leadership to field Narender Thakur from the seat.
The decision of the party leadership to field Narender has been welcomed by everyone in the party, in spite of earlier opposition by the old guards of the party. Former MLA from the constituency Urmil Thakur, also his sister-in-law, has come out openly in favour of Narender.
As per the directive of the party leadership, the mandal president of the BJP convened a meeting of party workers at Sujanpur on Friday to prepare the party cadre for the election so that Narender’s campaign could be started immediately.
Meanwhile, the name of the Congress’ candidate for the Sujanpur seat is likely to be announced on Saturday or Sunday.
Though the state unit of the party had sent a four-name panel to the party leadership, there are indications that Anita Rana, wife of Hamirpur Lok Sabha candidate Rajinder Rana, is likely to be the party nominee from the Sujanpur seat.
Among others vying for the ticket are former MLA Anita Verma, youth leader Arun Thakur and district Congress president Naresh Thakur.
This seat had fallen vacant following Rajinder Rana’s resignation from the Vidhan sabha to contest the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat on Congress ticket.
In the 2012 Vidhan Sabha elections, Rana had won the seat as an independent candidate by defeating Anita Verma of the Congress by a margin of 14,166 votes. Urmil Thakur of the BJP had finished third with 8,853 votes. Rana had secured 24,674 votes in the election, surprising the calculations of leaders of all parties.
With the election process to start from April 12, 66,506 voters will exercise their right of franchise for the Sujanpur seat on May 7.This includes 33,551 female and 32,955 male voters. There will be 772 new voters in age group of 18 to 19 years.
Since most parts of the constituency belong to the erstwhile Bamsan assembly segment of the district, the BJP candidate is likely to get full support and cooperation from former chief minister and senior party leader Prem Kumar Dhumal, who had represented the Bamsan assembly segment thrice.