After her nomination being rejected, Vidya Stokes says will devote more time to horticulture activities | india news | Hindustan Times
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After her nomination being rejected, Vidya Stokes says will devote more time to horticulture activities

The 89-year-old leader, popularly known as “Madam” remained seemingly undeterred even as her supporters kept pouring in to consult her on the next move.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2017 16:17 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
SCongress leader Vidya Stokes’ residence  Bumia Estate in Shimla.
SCongress leader Vidya Stokes’ residence Bumia Estate in Shimla.(Deepak Sansta/HT)

A day after Vidya Stokes’ nomination papers were rejected by the election returning officer, an uneasy calmprevailed over Bumia estate, her privateresidence which remained at the centre of politics in the apple heartland for over a decade.

The 89-year-old leader, popularly known as “Madam” remained seemingly undeterred even as her supporters kept pouring in to consult her on the next move.

Stokes, who has contested 10 elections in all and lost only twice, said, “I am mentally and physically agile. But what happened with me this was not expected...at least not from a young boy.”

Stokes, who is the senior most Congress leader in the state, is said to have told a handful of supporters, “I have remained emotionally attached with the party throughout my life. It is a difficult moment for me.”

Daughter-in-law of Satyananda Stokes (Samuel Evan Stokes), an America missionary who pioneered apple growing in Kotgarh, Vidya is widely respected across party lines in affluent apple-rich areas of the state.

Stokes made her political debut after the death of her husband Lal Chand Stokes, a legislator fromTheog.

Having once challenged the authority of vanguard Congress leader Virbhadra Singh, Stokes this time offered her Theog seat to him. “RajaSahab was keen on the seat I offered him but later informed me that he was going to fight from Arki. Actually, I became complacent and didn’t get a clear indicationtill the last moment. I was told later that I will be the nominee. By the time, I got the party’s authorisation symbol, the young boy what’s his name (referring to Deepak Rathore) had already filed his nomination papers.”

According to election rules, the party symbol is allotted to the person whoputs submits his application form first. Stokes,who did not lose hope, even challenged her paper rejection in the high court but the court refused to intervene in the matter.

“Though I was in double-minded, I always thought of helping my people and my party,” she says, adding that her children insisted that she should now spend timewith them. “I have planned some more horticulture projects and if I get time, I willalso try and help the boy. I have seen many ups and downs in my political career. Whatsoever has happened is over now.”

Junior Khachi silent, daughter takes it to social media

Even as Vijay Pal Khachi, son of Congress stalwart Late JBL Khachi, was left red-faced after the party ticket was given to Deepak Rathore, maintained his silence over the issue. Khachi had reached Virbhadra Singh’s private residence on Monday to offer sweets as he was conveyed by some leaders in New Delhi that his ticket has been finalised from Theog.The chief minister had also congratulated him but soon after he left, he was informed that he was not in the party’s official list.

But two days on, Khachi has still not uttered any word on the matter. But his daughter took to the social media to express her displeasure. In a post tagged to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Vijay Pal’s daughter Tara Khachi said, “I know my father is not going to utter a word but I am his daughter and I can’t tolerate his humiliation.”

His daughter said that she had one reason to support the Congress and that was her father. Since my childhood, I have just heard of one party that is the Congress. My grandfather, Late JBL Khachi, and my father have worked hard for the development of their constituency, she added. “Even after the sudden demise of my grandfather, my father stood by the party though he was ignored when it came to party’s ticket as his main focus was on the development of his constituency,” she said.

“Even this time also he didn't apply for your, “so called ticket” but the situation turned out to be quite unfavourable, so the party directed him to apply and ensured him of the ticket. There were celebrations all around that finally their candidate is been recognised but your U- turn has really hurt our sentiments,” she said. “Sir, we have just one thing that is, "respect "which we earned(not inherited),” she added.