BJP springs surprise, picks HP University V-C for Rajya Sabha

Published on Mar 20, 2022 02:04 AM IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday picked Himachal Pradesh University vice-chancellor Sikander Kumar as its nominee for the Rajya Sabha seat that fell vacant after Congress leader Anand Sharma’s term ended on March 14

Sikander Kumar, HP University V-C.
Sikander Kumar, HP University V-C.
By, Shimla

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday picked Himachal Pradesh University vice-chancellor Sikander Kumar as its nominee for the Rajya Sabha seat that fell vacant after Congress leader Anand Sharma’s term ended on March 14.

The party high command chose Sikander Kumar, who was the state BJP’s Scheduled Caste cell president till 2018 before being appointed the HPU vice-chancellor. Kumar belongs to Hamirpur district and also heads the Economic Association of Himachal and is project coordinator and member of central and state agencies.

With Kumar’s selection, the BJP has made its evident that it has set its sights on the votes of Scheduled Castes besides Rajputs. According to the 2011 census, 50.72% of the state’s population belongs to higher castes (32.72% Rajput and 18% Brahmin); 25.22% to Scheduled Castes (SCs); 5.71% to Scheduled Tribes; 13.52% to other backward classes (OBCs), and 4.83% to other communities.

Of the 68 assembly seats, 17 are reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates, while three are reserved for those belonging to Scheduled Tribes.

Hamirpur parliamentary seat new power centre

With Sikander being shortlisted for the Rajya Sabha, now there will be two members from Hamirpur parliamentary segment in the Upper House.

BJP national president Jagat Parkash Nadda is a Rajya Sabha member and belongs to Bilaspur, which is part of Hamirpur parliamentary segment, and information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur is also from Hamirpur.

Sikander Kumar has been engaged in teaching, research and extension work for three decades. He has published three books, Statistical Methods, Micro Economics and Himalayan Economics, besides a journal and 31 research papers. He has attended 110 seminars, workshops and conferences and supervised and undertaken 25 major project reports besides guiding 17 PhD students along with 52 MPhil students and 63 MA business economics students.

Other contenders for nomination

The names of state general secretary (organisation) for north-eastern states Ajay Jamwal and Mahindra Pandey, who served as the organisation secretary of the Himachal BJP, had been doing the rounds for the Rajya Sabha seat. Other leaders in contention for the nomination included former health minister Rajiv Bindal, Jwalamukhi MLA Ramesh Dhawala, BJP former chief Satpal Singh Satti, vice-president Ajay Rana, former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar, and the chief minister’s political secretary Trilok Jamwal.

Sikander Kumar’s appointment as HPC V-C has run into controversy with his appointment being challenged in court.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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