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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Himachal bypolls: Campaigning ends today, Cong, BJP go full throttle to woo voters

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur addressed two public meeting at Narag and Rajgarh to garner voters for candidates.  

india Updated: Oct 18, 2019 22:37 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Himachal Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore during campaigning in Sirmaur on Friday.
Himachal Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore during campaigning in Sirmaur on Friday.(HT PHOTO)
         

With campaigning for bypolls to two assembly segments in Himachal Pradesh—Dharamshala and Pachhad—concluding today, both ruling BJP and Congress on Friday made last ditch efforts to woo voters.

Voting for both the seats, which fell vacant after MLAs Suresh Kashyap (Pachhad) and Kishan Kapoor (Dharamshala) and were elected to Lok Sabha, will take place on October 21.

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur addressed two public meeting at Narag and Rajgarh to garner voters for candidates.  

Besides making a blistering attack on Congress, Thakur did not spare an opportunity to hit out at his “detractors” within and outside the party.

“There are many who are nurturing dreams to become future chief minister but don’t know there position. Critics, who wasted no opportunity in taking a dig at me, fell silent after Lok Sabha elections’ results. They were left exposed,” the chief minister said while addressing a public meeting at Narag, which is considered to strong hold of  party rebel and former zila parishad chairperson Dayal Pyari.

Pyari, who was a front runner in BJP for Pachhad ticket, filed nominations as independent after the saffron party fielded green horn Reena Kashyap against Congress’ Gangu Ram Musafir. She has been accusing the BJP leadership of meting injustice with her. Former Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist Ashish Sikta had also jumped into poll fray after being denied ticket from the segment.

“The nation has taken a leap under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. Recently, I was campaigning in Haryana where the voters were in full support of the BJP,” Thakur said as he took a jibe at Congress leaders and party nominee Gangu Ram Musafir.

Musafir, who has a record of seven straight wins from Pachhad, lost elections to BJP’s Suresh Kashyap in 2012 and 2017. Soft spoken Musafir is banking upon his rapport with population.

The chief minister also took an opportunity to count on works of his government. “Pachhad has been allocated more budget for developmental works than my own constituency,” Thakur said as he reminded people that “with the BJP being both at the Centre and state, more impetus will be giving to development in area if Kashyap was voted to power”.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal also held two meetings in the constituency.

IPH minister Mahender Singh Thakur and social justice minister Rajiv Sezal are holding the fort at Pachhad along with education minister Suresh Bhardwaj and party’s chief whip Narendra Bragta. On the other hand Congress workers and leaders are going full throttle with door-to-door campaigning to canvass for party candidates.

Party chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, who has been campaigning in the area, accused the ruling party of misusing official machinery.

“Model code of conduct is being violated blatantly by BJP leaders and we have approached the election commission to take action,” Rathore said.