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Himachal’s poorest candidate campaigns on borrowed Rs 1,000

Nand Kumar, a postgraduate in political science and a social activist, grows fruits and vegetables for a living.

assembly elections Updated: Nov 03, 2017 23:03 IST
Saurabh Chauhan
Saurabh Chauhan
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Himachal Pradesh elections,Himachal election,Samajwadi Party
Nand Kumar is being helped by his friends and relatives in the election campaign. (HT Photo)

Himachal Pradesh has 158 crorepatis contesting the upcoming polls but Samajwadi Party’s Nand Kumar, the poorest candidate in the fray, is unfazed.

The lone SP candidate in the state campaigns with Rs 1,000 and canvasses with friends in a borrowed Bolero in Churah constituency of Chamba district. “Unlike helicopters, this vehicle helps me tour the interiors and far-flung areas ,” he said.

A postgraduate in political science and a social activist, Kumar grows fruits and vegetables for a living. His affidavit shows he does not own any asset whether it’s land or a vehicle. He has no investment either. His wife owns 2.5 bighas of farm land. “My friends and relatives are helping me. I’m hopeful my party will also extend some help,” Kumar said.

He said he joined the SP as he needed a platform to fight for the rights of the people for better health care and to end the exploitation of workers at hydel plants. After reading a newspaper report about SP leader and former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav announcing that the SP would contest the Himachal polls, Kumar contacted SP secretary . He was put in touch with state SP president Ram Niwas Yadav and ended up becoming the party’s only candidate in the state.

“Churah is a backward constituency. We have only one hospital with one doctor for 70,000 people living in the area,” he said. “People talk about 4G and digital India, but here one has to climb a mountain to catch the internet signal,” Kumar said.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 22:59 IST