Women will be playing a pivotal role in the contest for the Hamirpur parliamentary seat.
Of the 12.29-lakh voters in Hamirpur parliamentary seat, which comprises Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur districts and parts of Kangra and Mandi districts, 6.25 lakh are men and 6.04 lakh are women voters. However, in Hamirpur district, women outnumber the men, with 1.83-lakh voters being women and 1. 82 lakh being men.
This trend, however, is not new to Hamirpur. Women have always been a majority in Hamirpur since it was made a district in 1972. With the fairer sex likely to bring an interesting mix to the Hamirpur parliamentary election, all eyes are set on who the Congress would be contesting from the seat.
For the Bharatiya Janata Party, Hamirpur's present MP, Anurag Thakur, has been announced as the party candidate. The Congress is yet to decided on its candidate. The rumour mill is abuzz with talks of Sujanpur MLA Rajendra Rana might be announced as the Congress' candidate. Rana had quit the BJP ahead of the 2012 assembly elections, won as an independent, and later joined the Congress as an associate member.
Rana happens to enjoy popularity among women voters in the district. However, Urmila Thakur, the former BJP MLA from Hamirpur, said the BJP enjoyed teh support of women voters and that was going to benefit the party. Sarita Rana, an aide of Rajendra Rana, begged to differ. She said the Congress was going to benefit from the women's support enjoyed by Rana, that is if he is announced as the party's candidate from Hamirpur.
There are also talks of the Congress planning to organise a rally for women at Sujanpur. The date would be finalised once the tickets for the Himachal Pradesh seats are announced.