The Bharatiya Janata Party has played the Army card in this state, where army personnel rule, by inviting former Indian Army chief and party candidate from Ghaziabad Gen VK Singh (retd) to Hamirpur to remain present while party candidate from this constituency Anurag Thakur files his nomination on Wednesday.
The party has taken this decision to woo ex-servicemen, serving soldiers and their families and to counter the pro-Army stance of Aam Aadmi Party candidate Kamal Kant Batra, the mother of Kargil hero Captain Vikram Batra.
While the BJP’s decision to invite Singh to Hamirpur has given a boost to its campaign, it has lowered the morale of the Congress’ workers in the constituency.
With nearly 3 lakh serving soldiers and ex-servicemen abnd their families living in Himachal Pradesh, known as the ‘land of martyrs’, Singh’s presence in Hamirpur is likely to fetch the opposition party votes.
If this plan becomes successful, the party will be able to strengthen its hold in all four Lok Sabha seats in the state, where it is in direct fight with the Congress.
BJP’s Hamirpur Lok Sabha eletion in- charge Praveen Sharma expressed optimism over the arrival of Singh, adding that it would further boost the party’s campaign “inflict a crushing defeat” on the Congress. “People know that the BJP is their only benefactor,’ he added.
However, Congress leaders claimed that the BJP’s plan to invite Singh to Hamirpur would “backfire” as people had already made up their minds to vote for the Congress.