In a jolt to BJP in Himachal Pradesh, its two-time MLA Urmil Thakur from Hamirpur, the home district of former chief minister P K Dhumal, quit the party and joined Congress alongwith her son.
Thakur, who is daughter-in-law of former BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand, was upset as BJP had denied ticket to her for Sujanpur Assembly bypoll and had instead fielded her brother-in-law.
Thakur announced her decision to join the Congress at a rally at Lambloo near Hamirpur in the presence of chief minister Virbhadra Singh and vowed to work for success for Rajinder Singh Rana, party candidate from Hamirpur Lok Sabh constituency.
The chief minister welcomed Thakur and her son into the party and said that their support would benefit the party in the Lok Sabha polls and Sujanpur assembly by-election.
The BJP has given the ticket from Sujanpur to Narinder Thakur, son of Jagdev Chand, who recently returned to BJP after eleven years.
Urmil Thakur rued that her loyalty to the party was ignored and those who had deserted the party in the past have been rewarded.
Urmil had won the assembly elections from Hamirpur in 1998 and 2007 but lost in 2003. She was shifted to Sujanpur in 2012 assembly polls and lost.
She said that party had done injustice to her as she had to shift to the newly carved out constituency of Sujanpur to accommodate former Chief Minister P K Dhumal, who contested from Hamirpur.
She alleged that she was forced to leave the party due to interference in her work?by Dhumal and his team.
The BJP wooed back Narinder Thakur as his support was seen as crucial for Anurag Thakur, sitting BJP MP from Hamirpur, who is seeking reielection.
Rajinder Singh Rana, who had contested the assembly polls from Sujanpur as an independent and defeated Urmil Thakur by over 15,000 votes in 2012, recently resigned from the assembly and joined the Congress to contest the Lok sabha poll from Hamirpur against Anurag Thakur.