BJP’s Shanta shakes hands with old foes
With the Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) candidate from Kangra, Shanta Kumar, seems to have buried the hatchet with foes.punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2014 23:44 IST
With the Lok Sabha elections drawing closer, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) candidate from Kangra, Shanta Kumar, seems to have buried the hatchet with foes.
Just a week after it was announced that he would contest from Kangra, the former two-time chief minister (CM) shook hands with rebel leaders of the BJP, including his one-time critic and former Nurpur MLA, Rakesh Pathania, and former Baijnath MLA Dulo Ram, who returned to the party fold.
Pathania, a one-time protégé of Shanta, first contested from Nupur assembly segment as a BJP candidate in the 1996 byelection and lost by a narrow margin. He won the seat in 1998 and was appointed the chairman of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. He lost the 2003 election to Congress stalwart Sat Mahajan. Pathania’s proximity to Prem Kumar Dhumal did not go down well with Shanta. He faced Shanta’s wrath in 2007, and was denied the party ticket after stiff opposition from Shanta.
He won the election as an independent and supported the Dhumal government. He also remained an associated member of the party for five years, but was again denied a ticket in 2012. On the possibilities of accommodating Pathania, Shanta had once said the BJP was not an inn which people could join and leave on their whims and fancies. However, as Shanta is now himself contesting from Kangra, he not only softened towards Pathania, but allowed his re-entry into the party.