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Lok Sabha elections 2019: National security up against apple yield in Himachal Pradesh

Riding on the ‘Modi wave’ in 2014, the BJP had won all the four Lok Sabha seats — Mandi, Kangra, Shimla and Hamirpur. Furthermore, the BJP returned to power in the state with a thumping majority in the 2017 assembly elections.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 19, 2019 07:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla/Dharamsala
PM Modi,Himachal Pradesh,BJP
The BJP ran a high decibel campaign focused on nationalism and the air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February.

All four seats of Himachal Pradesh will go to polls in the seventh and the last phase of Lok Sabha election, on May 19. In a state where politics has broadly been bipolar, stakes are high for both national parties — the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Riding on the ‘Modi wave’ in 2014, the BJP had won all the four Lok Sabha seats — Mandi, Kangra, Shimla and Hamirpur. Furthermore, the BJP returned to power in the state with a thumping majority in the 2017 assembly elections. However, all candidates face anti-incumbency, and whether this will be a factor on Sunday, remains to be seen.

There are 45 candidates in the fray and Nisha Katoch, an Independent, is the only woman candidate. She will fight from Kangra. BJP has repeated two sitting MPs, and fielded fresh faces in the other two.

In Hamirpur, Congress candidate Ram Lal Thakur is a state legislator. He will contest against three-time parliamentarian Anurag Thakur of the BJP. The saffron party has not lost this seat since 1998, and Anurag Thakur’s father, Prem Kumar Dhumal, is the former chief minister of the state.

In Mandi, the home district of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, the BJP has reposed its faith in its sitting MP Ram Swaroop Sharma. Pitted against him is Congress nominee Aashray Sharma, the grandson of former telecom minister Sukh Ram. In Shimla, the BJP has swapped current MP Virender Kashyap with Suresh Kashyap, the sitting legislator from Pachhad while Congress has fielded former two-term MP colonel (retd) Dhani Ram Shandil. Shimla has traditionally remained a Congress stronghold, but the party lost it in 2009 and 2014. Hoping to regain ground, party president Rahul Gandhi held his last campaign rally here, on Friday.

BIHAR
ArrahRajkumar Singh, BJP
BuxarAshwini Kumar Choubey, BJP
SasaramChhedi Paswan, BJP
KarakatUpendra Kushwaha, RLSP
JahanabadArun Kumar, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party
NalandaKaushalendra Kumar, JD(U)
Patna SahibShatrughan Sinha, BJP (now with Congress)
PatliputraRam Kripal Yadav, BJP
PUNJAB
Amritsar:Gurjeet Singh Aujla, Congress
Anandpur SahibPrem Singh Chandumajra, SAD
BathindaHarsimrat Kaur, SAD
Faridkot (SC)Sadhu Singh, AAP
Fatehgarh Sahib (SC)Harinder Singh Khalsa, AAP
FerozepurSher Singh Ghubaya, SAD
GurdaspurSunil Jakhar, Congress
Hoshiarpur (SC)Vijay Sampla, BJP
Jalandhar (SC)Santokh Singh Chaudhary, Congress
Khadoor SahibRanjit Singh Brahmpura, SAD (SAD-Taksali)
LudhianaRavneet Singh Bittu, Congress
PatialaDharamvira Gandhi, AAP
SangrurBhagwant Mann, AAP
CHANDIGARH
ChandigarhKirron Kher, BJP
HIMACHAL PRADESH
KangraShanta Kumar, BJP
HamirpurAnurag Thakur, BJP
MandiRamswaroop Sharma, BJP
ShimlaVirender Kashyap, BJP
JHARKHAND
GoddaNishikant Dubey, BJP
DumkaShibu Soren, JMM
RajmahalVijay Hansdak, JM
UTTAR PRADESH
BalliaBharat Singh, BJP
BansgaonKamlesh Paswan, BJP
ChandauliMahendra Nath Pandey, BJP
DeoriaKalraj Mishra, BJP
GhazipurManoj Sinha, BJP
GhosiHarinarayan Rajbhar, BJP
GorakhpurPraveen Kumar Nishad, SP
Kushi NagarRajesh Pandey, BJP
RobertsganjChhotelal, BJP
SalempurRavindra Kushwaha, BJP
VaranasiNarendra Modi, BJP
MirzapurAnupriya Patel, Apna Dal
MaharajganjPankaj Chaudhary, BJP
MADHYA PRADESH (8)
DewasManohar Untwal, BJP
DharSavitri Thakur, BJP
IndoreSumitra Mahajan (BJP)
KhandwaNandkumar Singh Chouhan (BJP)
KhargoneSubhash Patel, BJP
MandsaurSudhir Gupta, BJP
RatlamKantilal Bhuria, Congress
UjjainProf Chintamani Malviya, BJP
WEST BENGAL
BarasatKakali Ghosh Dastidar, Trinamool
BasirhatIdris Ali, Trinamool Congress
JoynagarPratima Mondal, Trinamool Congress
MathurapurChoudhury Mohan Jatua, Trinamool Congress
Diamond HarbourAbhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress
Kolkata SouthSubrata Bakshi, Trinamool Congress
JadavpurSugata Bose, Trinamool Congress
Kolkata NorthSudip Bandyopadhyay, Trinamool Congress
DumdumSaugata Roy, Trinamool Congress

The BJP ran a high decibel campaign focused on nationalism and the air strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February. State leaders mostly talked about the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. BJP’s state unit chief Satpal Singh Satti was issued three notices by the Election Commission (EC) for using slurs against Congress president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Congress brought up BJP’s unfulfilled promise of raising the import duty of apples, from 50% to 70%; the state is known as the ‘apple bowl of India’ and a major contributor to the country’s apple export.

“National rhetoric overshadowed the local issues and to some extent, the Modi wave seems to be alive to bail the BJP out. The Congress may give tough competition at Shimla and Kangra but chief minister Jairam Thakur’s image will play a positive for the BJP,” Harish Thakur, political science professor at Himachal Pradesh University said.

First Published: May 19, 2019 06:39 IST

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