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Rakesh Singha’s victory revives hopes for Left parties in Himachal

The Communist leader first won in 1993 but had to resign after he got convicted in a murder case.

assembly elections Updated: Dec 21, 2017 09:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Rakesh Singha,Communist leader Rakesh Singha,Himachal elections
Communist leader Rakesh Singha made an impressive comeback in the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha after 24 years.(HT File Photo)

Communist leader Rakesh Singha’s victory from his home segment Theog has revived the hopes of left party as well as apple country Kotgarh. Singh made an impressive comeback in the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha after 24 years.

Singha first won in 1993 but had to resign after he got convicted in a murder case. He had contested unsuccessfully from Theog in 2012, finishing third with 9,500 votes.

Vidya Stokes’ unceremonious exit from the public life created a political vacuum in apple growing areas of Theog, Kumarsain and Kotgarh.

Moreover, the Congress party had denied ticket to Vijay Pal Khachi, son of former minister and Congress stalwart late JBL Khachi, and picked Deepak Rathore, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, to fight from Kumarsain but he failed to impress the cadre.

All these political developments helped Singha build up his momentum.

Not only in Kotgarh, Kumarsain, Singha is popular among the masses in Theog region, especially after he led movements against eviction of farmers from encroached forest land and Gudiya rape and murder case.

“I have always worked for the people and fought for their right. I am thankful to the voters of Theog assembly segment,” Singha told HT, adding, “Now, battle for people’s right will be fought inside Vidhan Sabha.”

On being asked whether Stokes’ exit nurtured his prospects, the Left leader said, “People of the Theog, Kumarsain and Kotgarh supported me. They were fed up with the Congress and BJP rule. These parties have cheated people not only here but everywhere in the country.”

He also said that his victory is sign of people’s faith in the Left party.

An apple grower from Kotgarh, Ajay Thakur, said, “After Stokes, there was a vacuum. Now, Singha will raise our issues in and outside Vidhan Sabha.”

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 09:38 IST