November 5, 2012
All eyes on Independents
Shimla, November 4
With 105 Independents, including some prominent Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) rebels, in the fray, all eyes are on them as they may hold the balance in the formation of the government, post-counting.
Around 75 per cent polling recorded
Heavy polling leaves candidates guessing
Dharamsala, November 4
Heavy voter turnout in Kangra district, especially constituencies where rebel candidates are giving a major fight, has candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) and the Congress guessing.
Kangra holds key to power
Dharamsala, November 4
Kangra, the biggest and most populous district in the state, will hold the key to power in the next Assembly. The district had 16 Assembly constituencies.
75% turn up to vote in Kangra
Dharamsala, November 4
Kangra witnessed 75 per cent polling today. It is politically the most significant district of the state with 15 Assembly
78% polling in Solan, Sirmaur
Solan/Nahan, November 4
Solan district recorded a high of 78 per cent voting in its five constituencies, with Doon recording the highest polling percentage of 89. Nalagarh recorded 84 per cent polling, Kasauli 75.3 per cent, Arki 73.43 per cent and Solan the lowest percentage of 67.25.
Oldest woman voter 109-year-old Aladi at Nahan.
clean, but candidates clever
These state Assembly elections have turned out to be one of the cleanest
elections in the state, but inventive candidates and parties chose
private buildings for wall writings, hoardings, banners, posters and
flags in public places and residential areas.
records 84.51%, highest polling in Mandi
With the Seraj constituency recording the highest 84.51 per cent
polling, Mandi district recorded 76.95 per cent polling for its 10
Assembly seats for which elections were held today.
Churah in Chamba
Chamba recorded 77 to 80 per cent voter turnout in the Vidhan Sabha
elections held today.
registers 70% polling
Assembly segments of Palampur, Jaisinghpur, Baijnath and Sulaha of
Palampur saw more than 70 per cent voter turnout today. The voter
turnout in rural areas crossed a heartening 85 per cent. Reports
reaching here said upper areas of Palampur like Kandi, Thala and Lohana
saw more than 80 per cent voter turnout. Voters started queueing up
outside polling booths in rural areas since morning. Many reached the
polling stations before 8 am.Women voters outnumbered men at several
103-year-old Nathu Ram goes to
cast his vote in Palampur on Sunday.
People stand in a queue to cast
their votes at Devrighat, 30 km from Shimla, on Sunday. Photo:
scores highest turnout in Kullu
As many as 79 per cent voters exercised their franchise in Kullu
district today. Banjar recorded the highest 82 per cent polling in the
peaceful in Hamirpur, Una
Hamirpur and Una districts registered a large voter turnout today. The
polling was peaceful as no untoward incident was reported from any where
in the two districts.
Bilaspur, 78% at Nurpur
Polling was recorded at 71.30 per cent in Bilaspur Sadar, 70.50 per cent
in Jhandutta, 84 per cent in Naina Devi and 66 per cent in Ghumarwin
November 4, 2012
Voters’ silence keeps poll pundits guessing
Mandi, November 3
More than 46 lakh voters will decide which party will form the next government in the state based on the candidates’ rapport with the public, internal squabbles within various parties in each constituency, anti-incumbency factor in the Assembly elections tomorrow.
Hit by delimitation, they can’t vote for themselves
Shimla, November 3
With their native places becoming parts of other constituencies due to delimitation, many stalwarts from various parties will not be able to vote for themselves as their segments stand re-carved.
Stakes high for BJP in Hamirpur, Una districts
Hamirpur/Una, November 3
The stakes in the Assembly elections to be held tomorrow are quite high for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) in Hamirpur and Una districts, with five Assembly seats each.
Virbhadra visits Beas dera
Amritsar, November 3
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Virbhadra Singh paid a ‘secret visit’ to Dera Radha Soami in
Beas, about 40 km from here, this morning.
march taken out to urge residents to vote
To encourage voters to exercise their right to franchise, a candlelight
march was taken out at Dharampur in Kasauli last evening.
ITI students hold a candlelight
march at Dharampur in Kasauli.
Dalhousie has lowest No. of voters
Taleru polling station with 24 electors in the Dalhousie Assembly
constituency of Chamba district has the lowest number of voters in the
state. Six poll officials, including two security personnel, will
conduct the poll in this polling booth.
jawans to man polling booths
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has deployed six companies of the
ITBP to man 45 hyper-sensitive and 116 sensitive polling stations in
Mandi district tomorrow. The ECI has also deputed two-and-half companies
of the CRPF to man 22 hyper-sensitive and 45 sensitive polling stations
signage feature-enabled EVMs
The Election Commission has introduced Braille signage features in
electronic voting machines (EVMs) to facilitate the 1,162 visually
impaired electors to vote without the help of others.
Ashapuri won’t vote
Residents of Ashapuri village have decided not to cast their vote in the
elections as a mark of protest against the failure of the state
government to heal the wounds of the next of kin of victims of the
Ashapuri bus mishap.
up on state borders
In the wake of the elections, security arrangements on all checkpoints
bordering Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab states have been tightened so
that no suspect or stranger can infiltrate into the state.
November 3, 2012
Fortnight of fireworks and misfires
Shimla, November 2
The fortnight-long high-tech and high-pitch campaign for the November 4 Assembly poll, which came to a close today, saw top leaders of the BJP and Congress, the main contenders for power, hop across the hills on choppers, holding rallies, road shows and media conferences to woo the electorate.
Virbhadra’s out, not his clout
Rohru: Delimitation has robbed this constituency of its VIP status. Virbhadra Singh, who won the seat five times in a row, has been forced to shift to Shimla Rural as the seat has been reserved. The entire Tikker tehsil has been shifted to
New BJP face takes on Cong veteran
Nachan: The BJP has fielded an activist of the Sangh and teacher Vinod Kumar instead of the sitting MLA Dile Ram. Congress veteran Tek Chand Dogra also faces Damodar Singh, an Independent who was denied the BJP ticket. Once again Nachan is witnessing a triangular contest, as in 2003. BJP’s bold experiment here in terms of caste and regional combinations has turned it into a triangular battle.
Independent may cut into both vote banks
Karsog: There is a triangular contest between two “Rams and a Lal” in this reserved seat for the second time. Party hopper Mansa Ram, who lost in the 2007 election on the BJP ticket, has bagged the Congress ticket from Mast Ram.
4-way contest on cards
Anni: BJP MLA Kishorilal is facing a tough battle from Congress newcomer Khub Ram, Himachal Lokhit Party’s Nand Lal and Congress rebel Ishwar Das, an Independent.
Independent worries main parties
Chopal: Independent candidate Balbir Singh Verma is giving the BJP and the Congress a run for their money in this constituency. There are six candidates, but it is essentially a triangular fight involving sitting Congress MLA Subhash
Manglate, Seema Mehta of the BJP and Verma.
BJP rebel queers pitch
Indora: This constituency is reserved and was earlier named Gangath. The entire area lies along the border with Pathankot district in Punjab. The influence of Punjab is substantial as people are dependent for business and other things on
Jaitley seeks clarification from Cong
Shimla, November 2
Hitting out at the Nehru-Gandhi family, BJP leader Arun Jaitley today sought a specific clarification on the issue of donation given by the Congress to Young India, while terming it as “gross impropriety and illegality” as it involved use of party funds for commercial ventures.
Khanna flays Cong over corruption
Nurpur, November 2
Actor-turned-politician and former Union Minister Vinod Khanna gave a clarion call to oust the Congress in the Assembly poll.
He was addressing an election meeting in support of BJP candidate Ranbir Nikka at
Matholli, near here, today.
Bahuguna, Birender campaign for Kaul
Takoli/Kullu, November 2
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and Congress in charge Birender Chaudhary today invoked “Chief Minister (CM) card” in their last bid to save the shaking citadel of Darang Congress MLA Kaul Singh Thakur.
Virbhadra as CM would have helped Cong: Amarinder
Shimla, November 2
In a politically significant remark, former Punjab Chief Minister said today that declaring Virbhadra Singh as the Chief Minister would have further improved the poll prospects of the Congress.
November 2, 2012
I have buried the hatchet with Virbhadra: Mankotia
Dharamsala, November 1
“I have buried the hatchet with HPCC president Virbhadra Singh,” said Vijai Singh Mankotia when asked to comment about the status of his relations with the HPCC chief. Mankotia had carried out a crusade against Virbhadra and is now contesting as the Congress candidate from Shahpur.
||Vijai Singh Mankotia and Sudhir Sharma, Congress candidates, address mediapersons in Dharamsala
on Thursday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Dhumal govt facilitating illegal land deals: Cong leader
Shimla, November 1
AICC general secretary Birender Singh Chaudhary has charged the PK Dhumal government with facilitating illegal deals involving hundreds of bighas of land in Rampur-Keonthal area, on the outskirts of the city, in which money was arranged by a company outside the state to purchase land in the name of a local person.
hike in LPG fuels BJP campaign
The fresh hike in the price of LPG cylinder has fuelled electioneering
in the hill state with the ruling BJP trying to encash on it as the move
couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for them.
voting compulsory, says Advani
(Nahan), November 1
Stressing on electoral reforms, senior BJP leader and former
Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishan Advani today said voting
should be made compulsory. He said a voter could exercise his
right to reject if he did not find a suitable candidate, but he
should exercise his right to vote.
LK Advani at a rally at
Majra in Nahan on Thursday.
promote HP for film shooting’
Bollywood actor and former BJP MP from Gurdaspur, Punjab, Vinod
Khanna today started his election campaign for the party from
Dharamsala. He met residents in the Sheila area of Dharamsala
and appealed them to vote for the BJP.
Bollywood actor and
former BJP MP from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna interacts with
residents in the Sheila area of Dharamsala on Thursday. Photo:
fails to check inflation, says CM
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today lashed out at the Congress for
its failure to check inflation. Addressing a public meeting at Bangana
today, Dhumal said, “By increasing the price of LPG refill from today,
the Congress-led UPA government has given a gift of Karva Chauth to
targeting Rajputs of Kangra: Expelled Cong man
Former block president of Jwalamukhi Congress Nardev Kanwar, who was
removed from his post yesterday by the HPCC, today launched a scathing
attack on Virbhadra Singh.
seeks clarification from Modi
The Congress today asked the BJP to clarify its position about Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s stand on women and make it clear if
whether it subscribed to his stand of putting a price on the dignity of
claims Cong wave
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said the induction
stove would not fulfill the dream of Prem Kumar Dhumal of becoming the
Chief Minister again. Addressing an election rally at Fatehpur on
Wednesday in support of Congress candidate Sujan Singh Pathania, he said
if Dhumal had undertaken development of the state seriously, he would
not have taken the support of such a political election gimmick.
slams Cong for corruption
Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh today attacked the Congress-led UPA
government and held it responsible for “rampant corruption in the
government and price rise in the country”.
fight between two major parties
hotelier-turned-politician, Ravi Thakur, son of late Lata Thakur,
the first woman legislator from the tribal belt of Lahaul-Spiti,
is facing BJP candidate Ramlal Markanda.
Congress candidate Ravi Thakur welcomes Rahul Gandhi in Keylong.
candidate, Cong rebel face off
Paonta Sahib: The multi-cornered contest
in this Bahti community dominated segment in Sirmaur has virtually
turned into a straight fight between Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sukh
Ram and Congress rebel Kirnesh Jung, who has entered the fray as an
BJP candidate vs youngest Cong nominee
Jaisinghpur: Having stepped into the shoes
of his father Milkhi Ram Goma, 26-year-old Congress candidate Yadvinder
Goma is taking on the oldest BJP candidate, Capt (retd) Atma Ram, who
has represented Rajgir constituency, now renamed Jaisinghpur, four
encounter in 11 months
Renuka: Hriday Ram and Vinay Kumar made
their debut in electoral politics only 11 months ago. In 2007, Prem
Singh of the Congress defeated Balbir Singh of the BJP. The seat fell
vacant with Prem Singh’s death. In the by-election on November 30 last
year, BJP’s Hriday Ram, a former bureaucrat, defeated Prem Singh’s
son Vinay Kumar by 3,526 votes. This was the first time the BJP won the
rebel gives Cong the edge
Bhatiyyat: This constituency is
predominantly rural. The rebel factor and rivalry between Bhupinder
Singh Chauhan and Bikram Singh Jaryal has been marring the chances of
the BJP. In the last Assembly elections, Shanta Kumar loyalist Chauhan
was given the BJP ticket. Jaryal contested as Independent and secured
10,474 votes, leading to Chauhan’s defeat by a slender margin of about
November 1, 2012
politics to change system, Rahul urges youth, women
AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today exhorted youth and women to
come forward and join politics to help him in his mission of
“cleansing the system” that required young blood.
BJP’s fight against corruption a pretence
Gandhi, AICC general secretary, at a rally in Banikhet in
Dalhousie on Wednesday.
addresses BJP rally in Nalagarh
Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, said today that the
Congress-led UPA government would make a record of sorts and enter the
Guinness Book of World Records as numerous scams were being unearthed
every now and then.
Parkash Singh Badal, CM, Punjab,
at Baruna in Nalagarh on Wednesday.
Yechuri calls for support to third front
Maintaining that the time was ripe for the emergence of a third
political alternative, senior CPM leader Sita Ram Yechuri today called
upon the voters in the state to support the Himachal Lok Morcha (HLM)
and pave the way for the emergence of third political force at the
Sita Ram Yechuri, CPM Polit buro
member, addresses a rally in Shimla on Wednesday.
BJP renaming national schemes for political mileage: Azad
Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad criticised the Dhumal government
today for renaming various Central schemes after BJP leaders to claim
credit in the elections.
Union Health Minister Ghulam
Nabi Azad addresses mediapersons in Shimla on Wednesday.
Dhumal hits out at Centre
Chief Minister PK Dhumal said today that the Congress-led UPA government
at the Centre was discriminating against Himachal and Himachalis and
this was manifested in the untimely curtailment of the Central
states responsible for female foeticide: Smriti
To counter the impact of slogans of “women power and united Congress
in Seraj” against BJP four-timer Jai Ram Thakur, BJP All-India Mahila
Morcha president Smriti Irani and All India BJP SC Cell president
Ramnath Govil today held Congress-ruled states responsible for female
foeticide. They also alleged that the party was responsible for crime
against women and discrimination against the Dalits.
Smriti Irani, Bharatiya Janata
Mahila Morcha national president, at a rally in Janjheli on Wednesday.
development in Palampur in 5 years: HLP
Dulo Ram, vice-president, Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), said today that
both BJP and the Congress had cheated residents of Palampur as all
development activities in this town remained suspended for five years.
govt most corrupt, says Virbhadra
HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh has said the BJP government led by Chief
Minister PK Dhumal looted the natural resources of the state.
Secretary reviews poll arrangements
Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy today said all preventive measures had been
taken to ensure free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections in the
state as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India.
hits out at Centre for price rise
National president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and MP
Anurag Thakur has slammed the UPA government for inflation and capping
on LPG cylinders.
vote for BJP to end woes
politics dominates Manali landscape
Manali: This popular tourist destination
has become a hub of political activity since the Delimitation Commission
carved out the Manali constituency out of Kullu.
valley in Manali. The poll battle in the region mainly involves
college building major poll issue
Jhanduta: It’s a fight between
traditional rivals Rikhi Ram Kondal of the BJP and Beeru Ram Kishore of
the Congress from the Reserved Assembly segment of Geharwin in Bilaspur
district, which has now been renamed Jhanduta.
son, Ayurvedic doc go door-to-door for votes
Kasauli: Vinod Sultanpuri, son of six-time
Member of Parliament KD Sultanpuri of the Congress, is trying to make
his electoral debut from this seat which has been a Congress bastion,
but was wrested by Dr Rajeev Sehzal of the BJP in 2007.
citadel to witness old rivalries once again
Shillai: Four-time MLA from this
traditional Congress stronghold Harsh Wardhan Chauhan is locked in a
straight battle with his rival Baldev Tomar of the BJP. During the last
Assembly polls, Chauhan defeated Amar Singh, an Independent, while
Baldev Tomar ended up a poor third and even lost his security deposit.
This time the scenario has changed as Amar Singh is not in the fray and
is backing Tomar. There are three more candidates: Hari Ram (CPM), Nathu
Ram (BSP) and KS Jindal (NCP), but none of them is likely to secure
enough votes to make any significant difference to the contest.
officers fail to check paid news: RTI activist
Right to Information (RTI) activist Lawan Thakur said district electoral
officers (DEOs) had failed to develop a mechanism to check and stop the
paid news menace in the Assembly elections in the state.
Bharatiya Party to back HLP
Sudesh Aggrawal, national president, Samast Bharatiya Party (SBP), has
said though his party did not put up any candidate in the Assembly
elections, the party’s national executive had decided to support all
candidates of the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP).
October 31, 2012
royal scion in race against three new faces
Kullu: The present scion of the erstwhile Rupi Kullu kingdom,
Maheshwar Singh, is fighting a do-or-die battle in the 35 years of his
political life. He is pitted against three first-timers: Congress rebel
Prem Lata Thakur, Sunder Thakur of the Congress and Ram Singh of the BJP
in a multi-cornered contest. BSP, NCP and an Independent candidate are
also in the fray, but they are struggling to find their feet.
Maheshwar Singh with other leaders at a rally. Photo: Jai Kumar
Cong leader vs new BJP candidate
Bharmour: This tribal constituency is witnessing a contest between old
Congress warhorse Thakur Singh Bharmouri and new BJP candidate Jiya Lal.
The BJP denied the party ticket to sitting MLA and Assembly Speaker
Tulsi Ram to beat anti-incumbency in the constituency. Tulsi Ram
initially decided to field his wife as a rebel. However, he was
persuaded by the party high command and decided to support Jiya Lal.
Kasumpti to witness close battle
Junga: The entry of Vijay Jyoti from the
royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Keonthal as an
Independent has added a new dimension to the multi-cornered electoral
battle in Kasumpti, upsetting the calculations of the major parties.
may mar Cong, BJP chances
Ghumarwin: The presence of rebels is
giving a tough time to both parties. The Congress has fielded sitting
MLA Rajesh Dharmani again. The BJP has chosen a new candidate, Rajinder
Garg. They are facing former party MLAs who have jumped into the fray as
ex-student leaders locked in multi-cornered contest
Una: This constituency is witnessing a
multi-cornered contest this time, with sitting MLA Satpal Singh Satti in
the fray for the third time. A former ABVP leader, Satti broke the
dominance of the Congress in this constituency in 2003.
4,200m, Hikkim highest polling station
For 326 Buddhist tribal voters, Hikkim at 4,200m is a virtual polling
station in clouds, the highest in the world, with Komik, the world’s
highest village, situated at 4,275m.
A view of Komik village, the
highest in the world connected by road.
rise due to global economic crisis: Sonia
Congress president Sonia Gandhi at a political rally held in Kangra
today attributed price rise in the country on external factors. She said
there was a global economic crisis which was increasing the prices of
essential items all over the world.
seeks ECI nod to campaign on November 3
The BJP today sought special permission from the Election Commission of
India (ECI) to campaign even on November 3. The party has told the
commission that delays by the Air Traffic Control in the landing and
take-off of helicopters of their leaders had resulted in loss of time.
blames Congress for failing to feed poor
Smriti Irani, president, All-India Mahila Morcha, BJP, today said the
anti-poor stance of the Congress had been exposed in its failure to feed
the poor despite directions of the Apex Court.
Smriti Irani, president,
All-India Mahila Morcha, BJP, with Sheila Kumari, party candidate for
Solan, at a rally in Kandaghat on Tuesday.
dividing state into upper, lower Himachal: Dhumal
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today accused state Congress chief Virbhadra
Singh of spreading regionalism for his political interests.
keen to repeat MC poll success
The impressive win of the CPM in the Shimla Municipal Corporation (MC)
polls has rekindled the hopes of the Left parties to enter the Vidhan
Sabha after a span of 20 years. Rakesh Singh of the CPM was the last to
represent the party in 1993.
Brinda Karat, CPM Politburo
member, addresses mediapersons in Shimla on Tuesday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
has neglected Chamba: Cong leader
Congress leader Pawan Nayyar, who is contesting the Assembly elections
from Chamba, has lashed out at the BJP-led state government for
neglecting Chamba district in the past five years.
misleading people on irrigation project: Pathania
Attacking the Congress during election meetings at Baranda, Bodh and
Ladhori, Independent candidate Rakesh Pathania alleged that Congress
candidate Ajay Mahajan was misleading the people on the issue of Finna
Singh irrigation project.
could not execute all projects: Virbhadra
Virbhadra Singh, former Chief Minister and HPCC president, today said
the BJP had failed to execute all development projects in this region.
October 30, 2012
BJP should ask Gadkari to step down, says Anand
Dharamsala, October 29
Taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the issue of corruption, Union Minister for Industry, Commerce and Textiles Anand Sharma today termed BJP national president Nitin Gadkari as a corrupt businessman.
Union Industry, Commerce and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma addresses mediapersons in Dharamsala
on Monday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Dhumal accuses UPA of neglecting state
Nurpur, October 29
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal while addressing election meetings at Rehan and Jawali in support of BJP candidates from Fatehpur and Jawali Assembly segments has alleged that the UPA government had always neglected the hill state since it came to power.
CM falsely accusing UPA: Virbhadra
Sundernagar, October 29
HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh has said Chief Minister PK Dhumal was falsely accusing the UPA government for not giving grant to the state. He said in fact due to the wrong policies of the state government, a Central grant of Rs 10,500 crore was not
Smriti fuels poll campaign with LPG and price hike
Shimla, October 29
To capitalise on the cap on LPG cylinders imposed by the UPA regime, actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani today used all her histrionics to woo the voters, especially women on the issue.
Holding an induction heater, the All-India Mahila BJP chief who was here today to campaign in favour of the
BJP, tried to make price rise and limiting subsidy on LPG as the main poll issues.
Actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani, president, All-India Mahila BJP, with women activists in Shimla on Monday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
Women not safe in Congress-ruled states, says Smriti
Solan, October 29
Smriti Irani, national president, BJP’s Mahila Morcha, today urged activists to campaign against the anti-women psyche of the Congress in the states ruled by the party where security of women even at the workplace had become a question of concern for voters.
Cong dares Dhumal on Bhakra Dam oustees
Bilaspur, October 29
District election observer of the Congress Kamal Kant Sharma, also a former Delhi Congress president, has challenged Chief Minister PK Dhumal to show if his government has solved any problem of lakhs of Bhakra Dam oustees in the district during his five-year term.
Asha Kumari like my daughter: Virbhadra
Dharamsala, October 29
HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh is out to reconcile with his former rivals. He has decided to play down the statement issued against him by AICC secretary and Congress candidate from Dalhousie Asha
37% candidates never filed I-T returns
Shimla, October 29
As many as 163 (37%) of the 445 candidates in the fray, including many ‘crorepatis’, have declared that they have never filed income tax (I-T) returns. Among the 282 candidates who have been filing income tax returns, only two have income in excess of Rs 1
Free CFL scheme cost state govt Rs 80 cr: Congress
Shimla, October 29
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Birender Singh today alleged that the Atal Bijli Bachat Scheme, under which compact fluorescent lamps
(CFL) were given free of cost to the consumers to save energy, was a huge scam in which the state had incurred a loss of Rs 80
Four-way contest on the cards
Nahan: Dislodged from his traditional constituency Solan in delimitation, Rajeev
Bindal, former Health Minister and Chief Minister PK Dhumal’s right-hand man, is making an all-out bid to find a foothold in
Nahan, a seat the BJP has never won. He won from Solan thrice in a row, but the seat has been reserved for Scheduled Caste in delimitation.
Rajnath Singh with Rajeev Bindal at a rally.
BJP faces royal challenge from Cong candidate
Banjar: For a JBT teacher-turned-politician, BJP MLA from Banjar, Khimi Ram, scoring a hat-trick in the hills of Banjar has become very difficult in these elections. He is facing the toughest battle of his life from his “old royal foe”, Karan Singh, the present scion of erstwhile Kullu state and a Congress candidate.
It’s anti-incumbency for BJP, rebel factor for Congress
Chamba: Chamba is all set to witness a triangular fight in the forthcoming Assembly elections. The absence of prominent Congress leader Harsh Mahajan from the campaigning after he refused party ticket and denial of the ticket to Raj Singh Thakur for whom Mahajan had lobbied hard for has affected the party’s support base.
Two-time Cong MLA takes on former student leader
Haroli: Two-time Congress MLA Mukesh Agnhotri is pitted against former ABVP leader and now BJP candidate Ram Kumar. Agnihotri was Chief Parliamentary Secretary in the previous Congress government. He is taking credit for many development schemes.
Rebel factor worries major parties
Arki: With both BJP and the Congress having failed to prevail upon the rebels to step out of the electoral battle, they are set to play spoilsport in the constituency which has the highest number of voters in the district.
HLP candidate may play spoilsport for main parties
Jaswan-Pragpur: Former legislator and BJP rebel Naveen Dhiman, now contesting on the Himachal Lokhit Party
(HLP) ticket, is aspiring to repeat history by winning from this constituency for the second time, riding on the sympathy factor. The presence of Dhiman in the electoral arena on the HLP ticket has changed political equations in the constituency, witnessing a keen triangular fight.
October 29, 2012
People not interested in Cabinet reshuffle: Advani
Amb, October 28
The reshuffle of the Cabinet is not going to improve the image of the present UPA government that has been accused of unprecedented corruption in the country.
A defensive BJP keeps Gadkari away from media
Shimla, October 28
Even as the slugfest on corruption continues between the BJP and the Congress, the ruling party has been put on the defensive over the issue with its party chief Nitin Gadkari in the thick of controversy over his business ventures.
Key constituencies: Balh
Rebels may affect parties’ vote banks
With nine candidates in the fray, the battle for the ballot in Balh (SC) has emerged as a four-cornered contest between sitting Congress MLA Parkash
Chaudhary, new BJP face Inder Gandhi, BJP rebel Mahant Ram Chaudhary and CPM’s Paras Ram.
BJP aims to rout veteran Cong leader
Having registered seven consecutive wins in the Assembly polls held since 1982, senior Congress leader Gangu Ram Musafir now aims to make his way to the Vidhan Sabha for the eighth time from the Pachhad constituency.
Left may cut into Congress, BJP votes
The Naina Devi constituency is witnessing a triangular contest between former Congress minister Ram Lal
Thakur, sitting BJP legislator Randhir Sharma and former CPI legislator KK
Kaushal. It is likely to be a close contest. It is the old Assembly segment of Kot Kehloor in Bilaspur district, which has been re-named Naina
Devi. The contest is mainly between the traditional Congress and BJP rivals with Kaushal likely to cut into the vote bank of both political parties.
Face-off between two women again
This constituency is witnessing a tough contest between AICC secretary Asha Kumari and sitting BJP MLA Renu Chada. Earlier named Banikhet, the name was changed after delimitation. It the only Assembly constituency in the state where the main contest is between women.
Rudy targets state Cong chief over corruption
Shimla, October 28
In contrast to Nitin Gadkari’s stance to avoid any direct reference to allegations against Virbhadra Singh, the BJP today targeted the former Chief Minister by raking up corruption issues against him.
BJP banks on Dhumal’s influence to win
The constituency is witnessing a triangular contest between Anita Verma of the Congress, Urmil Thakur (BJP) and Rajender Rana (Independent). The constituency was created after scrapping Bamsan constituency and merging areas of Bamsan and Hamirpur constituencies.
69 candidates face criminal charges
Mandi, October 28
As many as 69 candidates, 30 of them facing serious criminal charges, out of 445 candidates (16 per cent) in the fray for the state Assembly poll have declared criminal cases against them.
To woo Brahmins, Maya says BSP a party for all sections
Dharamsala, October 28
The BSP belonged to all sections of the society and not just the Dalits, BSP chief Mayawai said while addressing a rally at Kangra today.
She said her party has been demanding reservation for the poor even among the upper castes.
BSP supremo Mayawati at an election rally in Kangra on Sunday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Two BJP, one Cong rebel get HLP support
Shimla, October 28
In an attempt to forge a third front as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP, the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) has announced to back three prominent rebels who are in the fray against official party nominees.
Cong will pay BJP in same coin: Virbhadra
Nurpur, October 28
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh while addressing an election meeting at Indora today in support of Congress nominee Kamal Kishor threatened the BJP and said, “we will pay in the same coin to the BJP for levelling false allegations and framing me in false cases if the Congress voted to power”.
VRMT: Cong accuses Shanta of corruption
Shimla, October 28
Former minister Surender Singla yesterday demanded a probe by a sitting High Court Judge into Vivekananda Research and Medical Trust (VRMT), a dream project of former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, in Palampur.
October 28, 2012
Coming out strongly in defence of state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh,
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today said the
BJP had unleashed a vilification campaign against him.
on its way out, claims Sushma
Sushma Swaraj today alleged that the UPA government at the Centre had
become a symbol of corruption as scams worth Rs 4 lakh crore were
unearthed in the last three years. She claimed that the government
headed by Manmohan Singh would not survive after the winter session of
Sushma Swaraj being welcomed by BJP
members at an election rally in Palampur on Saturday. Photo: Kamaljeet
in other seats, Kaul Singh, Stokes told
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh today asked Kaul Singh Thakur
and Vidya Stokes to come out of their constituencies and campaign in at
least 10 constituencies he had not visited so far.
trying to mislead people: Dhumal
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today alleged that the Congress was trying to
mislead the masses with lies, but the people of the state were fully
informed and no party could mislead them.
maligning me to defend Gadkari: Virbhadra
Chowk, October 27
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh today claimed that the BJP had
lost ground in the state and was resorting to emotional blackmail and
character assassination to defend BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who was
accused of involvement in scams.
uses hiked LPG rates as poll plank
The BJP appears to have exploited the issue of Liquefied Petroleum Gas
(LPG) hike to its hilt with placard-wielding women marching across
various towns and asking people if they will buy LPG cylinders costing
Rs 990 after the Congress-led UPA government has put a cap on the number
of subsidised cylinders.
Shanta seeks probe into charges against Vadra
While stating that the BJP was open to any inquiry against its chief
Nitin Gadkari, former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar today accused the UPA
regime of shying away from instituting a high-level judicial inquiry
into allegations against Robert Vadra, Coalgate scam and other
Shanta Kumar addresses
mediapersons in Shimla on Saturday.
October 27, 2012
Congress rebel makes fight interesting
Dehra: Had it not been for the presence of a Congress rebel in the fray, Irrigation and Public Health Minister Ravinder Singh Ravi could have easily had a cakewalk against his Congress rival, Brig Rajinder Singh
Ravinder Singh Ravi during an election campaign in Dehra. Photo: Kamaljeet
Tough contest likely in apple heartland
Jubbal/Kotkhai: Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta and Rohit Thakur, grandson of late Congress stalwart Thakur Ram
Lal, are fighting it out for the third consecutive time in the apple heartland. It was the impregnable bastion of Ram
Lal, who won nine elections from the constituency.
Straight fight between Cong, BJP candidates
Kutlehar: In the Kutlehar Assembly constituency, BJP candidate Virender Kanwar is pitted against Ram Dass Malangad of the Congress, a former BJP leader who got elected twice on the BJP ticket from this constituency in 1993 and 1998.
Malangad, who managed to break dominance of the Congress in this constituency after getting elected on the BJP ticket, was expelled from that party. He later joined the Congress.
BJP squabbles make pitch easy for Cong
Sundernagar: In an uneven triangular contest, the Congress enjoys an advantage in
Sundernagar. The six-time BJP MLA-turned rebel, Roop Singh Thakur, has queered the pitch for the BJP green horn Rakesh
Jamval, a former state chief of the BJYM.
BJP rebel gives Cong the edge
Fatehpur: This constituency was carved out in the recent delimitation exercise. Most of the areas of this constituency were a part of the Jawali constituency earlier. The rebel factor is haunting the BJP in this constituency. The party has nominated Baldev
Thakur, former block president, as its candidate from here. Baldev, a government contractor, is a greenhorn in electoral politics. However, simpleton Baldev has been striking rapport with voters in this predominantly rural constituency.
Money in Swiss Bank Accounts
Clear stand, Shanta asks Sonia Gandhi
Hamirpur, October 26
National vice-president of the BJP Shanta Kumar has asked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to explain her family’s position about allegations of her family having money in Swiss bank accounts.
Favours presidential form of government
Palampur, October 26
Shanta Kumar, national vice-president of the BJP, today favoured the presidential form of government that could help the country in getting rid of the clutches of corrupt leaders.
Sonia to visit Kangra
Kangra, October 26
All India Congress Committee (AICC) chief Sonia Gandhi will visit Kangra town on October 30 to address a public meeting in support of Congress candidates of this region at the local municipal stadium.
Two get EC notice on poll expenses
Bilaspur, October 26
The EC has issued notices to Kushal Sharma, a Shiv Sena candidate from the Bilaspur Sadar constituency, and Jitender
Chandel, a rebel Congress candidate contesting as an Independent, for not maintaining election expenditure registers.
Cong comes out with details of Central funds
Shimla, October 26
The Congress today came out with the details of funds provided by the Centre to rebut the charge of Chief Minister PK Dhumal that the UPA regime had meted out a step-motherly treatment to the state and that it failed to utilise Rs 10,000 crore available under various Central schemes.
CM: Cong failed to provide relief to common man
Paonta Sahib/Shillai, October 26
Chief Minister PK Dhumal said today that the large scale corruption ‘executed’ by the Congress would cost them ‘dear’ in the elections as no amount of explanation would help erase the ‘image of scams’ worth several lakh crores from the minds of the common man.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal being welcomed at Paonta Sahib on Friday.
Virbhadra must come clean on income issue: BJP
Shimla, October 26
Demanding that Virbhadra Singh must come out clean on the issue of his income, the BJP today said it would move the court against the former Chief Minister once the election process
Satya Pal Jain addresses mediapersons in Shimla on Friday.
Photo: Amit Kanwar
Virbhadra launches attack on BJP leaders
Dharampur/Baldwara, October 26
HPCC president Virbhadra Singh today adopted an aggressive posture and charged that Chief Minister PK Dhumal and his certain ministerial colleagues had “looted the state’s wealth, politicised the police force to settle political vendetta and ruled the state like a mafia raj” for the past nearly five years.
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh with party candidates Rangeela Ram Rao (left) and Chander Shekhar (right) during a rally at Dharampur in Mandi
on Friday. Photo: Jai Kumar
BJP govt selling interests of state: CPM
Hamirpur, October 26
The CPM has accused the state government of allegedly selling the interests of the state at the hands of the JP Group.
Candidates must disclose income source: Council
Shimla, October 26
Expressing concern over the increasing role of money power in electoral politics, the Social Welfare and Reforms Council of India has urged the Election Commission to make disclosure of income source mandatory.
Bring BSP to power and see the difference: Mayawati
Bilaspur/Mandi, October 26
BSP national president Mayawati has exhorted voters in the hill state to oust both the BJP and the Congress from power. She said people should bring the BSP to power if they wanted to see the difference between corrupt and
self-centred governments and a pro- people government.
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati during a rally in Mandi on Friday. Photo: Jai Kumar
October 26, 2012
to land for Prashant Bhushan
Congress all set to make it poll issue
Dharamsala, October 25
With the election campaign reaching its peak, the Congress is likely to raise the issue of permission granted to Prashant
Bhushan, an active member of India Against Corruption, headed by Arvind
Kejriwal, for buying a tea garden land in Palampur sub-division of Kangra district.
Virbhadra must clear air on Ispat issue: Dhumal
Sarkaghat, October 25
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today targeted state Congress president Virbhadra Singh charging that he owed explanation to the public in the state to clear the air on the issue of alleged VBS-LIC link in the Ispat pay-off case and his tie-up with VS
Mankotia, who had released an audio CD against him.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal at a rally in support of BJP candidate Inder Singh in
BJP leaders ignoring issues of commoners: Cong
Hamirpur, October 25
Congress candidate from Hamirpur Narender Thakur has accused BJP leaders of focusing on character assassination of Congress leaders and forgetting the issues of the common
people in the election campaign.
Setback for BJP as mandal office-bearers quit
Nurpur, October 25
The bickering in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Indora Assembly constituency today came to the fore when office-bearers of the local BJP mandal and supporters of sitting BJP MLA Des Raj and national BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar resorted to mass resignation.
Birender’s statement against Anurag flayed
Hamirpur, October 25
Media in charge of Hamirpur BJP Vijay Pal Soharu has taken exception to the statement of AICC general secretary Birender Singh against BJYM national president Anurag
Winning heart of Queen of Hills a tough challenge
Shimla: The Queen of Hills is all set to witness a multi-cornered electoral battle. The politically mature electorate has not let any candidate win two consecutive terms since 1982.
A view of the Ridge in Shimla: The voters have not let any candidate win two consecutive terms since 1982. File photo
Rebel factor worries Cong, BJP
Doon: Rebels have become a cause of concern for both the Congress and the BJP in the the state’s major industrial hub.
Factionalism puts BJP on the backfoot
Baijnath: Political equations in the Baijnath Assembly constituency have changed completely since this segment was reserved for the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste. This has brought new players into the election arena.
Cong leader’s daughter takes on BJP MLA
Seraj: Having completed a hat-trick of wins, BJP MLA Jai Ram Thakur faces a soft spoken
JBT-teacher-turned-Congress candidate Tara Thakur this time.
New turf for key candidates
Chintpurni: The Chintpurni Assembly constituency, which has been reserved for SC candidate after the last delimitation is witnessing the main contest between BJP candidate Balbir Singh Chaudhary and Congress candidate Kuldeep Kumar. After delimitation, this constituency was reserved for the SC candidates and adjoining Gagret constituency, which was reserved for the SC candidate, was brought under the open category. The key candidates from the constituency had been contesting from
Gagret, but after a change of status of Gagret and Chintpurni, both leaders opted for Chintpurni in this election.
October 25, 2012
wearing political mask: Birender
Shimla, October 24
“The BJP wears a political mask only to face the electorate during the
poll. The party conveniently forgets its commitments once the elections
are over,” said Birender Singh Chaudhary, AICC general secretary and
in charge of party affairs in the state.
kids to persuade parents to cast vote
With a miserably low voter registration figure of 50 per cent, the
district administration has sought the help of schoolchildren in the
state capital to persuade their parents to cast their vote and not
relax at home on the polling day, which happens to be a Sunday.
Ram’s son faces multi-cornered contest
Mandi: A dairy
inspector-turned-politician, Congress MLA Anil Sharma is still cashing
in on the legacy of his father Sukh Ram, a five-time Mandi MLA and
three-time Mandi MP.
ex-IPS officers contest in Cong citadel
Rampur: The electoral fight has taken an
interesting turn with the ruling BJP fielding former IAS officer Prem
Singh Drek to challenge former IPS officer and sitting MLA Nand Lal in
this Congress stronghold.
challenge for three-time MLA
Jwalamukhi: Securing the ticket from his home turf was nothing less
than a battle for Food and Civil Supplies Minister Ramesh Dhawala. The
struggle is far from over as he is facing a formidable
challenge from an old opponent, who now has the stamp of the Congress.
may make it tough for BJP candidate
Jawali: The sitting Congress MLA from Guler, Neeraj Bharti, is facing
a new BJP candidate, Arjun Singh, from this constituency. Guler
constituency was scrapped in delimitation and most of its areas are
now a part of Jawali. Bharti is relying heavily on the support of his
father, Chander Kumar, former Kangra MP, to ensure his victory. Guler
was considered the bastion of Chander Kumar, a prominent OBC leader.
trashes BJP manifesto
Shimla, October 24
The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) has claimed that it does not matter
what the BJP party has promised in its manifesto as it had failed to
implement its 2007 manifesto. Citing several examples from the earlier
manifesto, senior HLP leader Khushi Ram Balnatah said the electorate
must take notice that the BJP had cheated them by not fulfilling its
earlier promises. Not even half of the promises were implemented over
the past five years. Worse was that despite that it was trying to sell
more dreams which not many would buy, he claimed.
may play spoilsport for major parties
Gagret: This constituency has 10 candidates, the maximum in the
district. The main contest is between Congress candidate Rakesh Kalia
and BJP candidate Sushil Kalia, but rebels of both parties may play
spoilsport. Both belong to the Brahmin community and are contesting
from the constituency for the first time as it was put in the open
category in delimitation after being reserved for the Scheduled Caste
category for several decades.
‘Dham’ to prove
costly for candidates
Dharamsala, October 24
Organising ‘dham’ (community meal) for supporters will prove
costly for candidates. The Election Commission (EC) has decided to
impose Rs 36 per person as costs to candidates organising ‘dham’
for supporters during elections. The costs will be added to the
election expenditure of candidates.
tarnishing my image: Chandel
Bilaspur, October 24
Jitender Chandel, member, state Congress Committee, who has rebelled
and is standing as an Independent candidate from the Bilaspur Sadar
constituency against official candidate Bambar Thakur, has alleged
that some of his detractors are conspiring to tarnish his image and
get mileage in the elections.
than 3 lakh to cast vote in Sirmaur dist
Solan, October 24
As many as 3,12,135 voters will exercise their franchise in the five
Assembly segments of Sirmaur district comprising 1,44, 237 women and
3,12, 35 men. District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Padam
Singh Chauhan said the Nahan constituency had the highest number of
67,890 voters, while Shillai had the lowest number at 57,549.
pre-poll voting for staff held
Chamba, October 24
The hi-tech pre-poll voting has been conducted today at Chamba for the
officials who have been deployed to carry out the poll duties of the
forthcoming state Assembly elections.
allows more documents to prove voter identity
Hamirpur, October 24
The Election Commission has allowed 14 other documents to prove
identity of a voter in addition to the photo identity card.
heading towards victory: Zahida
Chamba, October 24
All-India Congress Committee (Women Wing) general secretary Zahida
Khan said there was an undercurrent wave in favour of the Congress in
Himachal and the party was heading towards victory.
October 24, 2012
Cong, BJP manifestos, an exercise in competitive populism
Shimla, October 23
The release of manifestos during the run-up to the Assembly poll has over the years become a political ritual, which is not taken seriously by the electorate.
Shimla, Una DCs shifted
Shimla, October 23
The state government today transferred Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Shimla and
Una, who are also the district returning officers, midway during the Assembly elections.
Cong MLAs against state’s interests, says minister
Dharamsala, October 23
Minister for Industries and BJP candidate from Dharamsala Kishan Kapoor said today that Congress legislators had worked against the interests of
Himachal. While addressing a press conference here today, Kapoor said after the UPA government finished the industrial package in the state, the state Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Centre to extend the industrial package in the state to 2020.
Jaitley seeks SIT probe into Ispat case
Shimla, October 23
The woes of beleaguered HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh multiplied further with Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley demanding a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the VBS files case in the wake of fresh “clinching and corroborating evidence” that had surfaced over the past two days linking the alleged Ispat pay-offs with investments made in financial instruments by him.
Information based on imagination: Virbhadra
Shimla, October 23
Expressing shock over the details of his Income Tax (I-T) returns published in a section of the media, state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh said today that incorrect information was being carried out to create confusion in the public to divert his attention from the election campaign.
HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh addresses a rally in Ani on Tuesday.
CM running state as family business: Anand Sharma
Badaran (Hamirpur), October 23
Union Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma has accused Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal of running a “baap-beta and sasur government” in the state.
Dhumal demands inquiry against Virbhadra
Dharamsala, October 23
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today demanded a probe by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the allegedly amended Income Tax (I-T) returns of Virbhadra Singh.
Dhumal was on a campaigning spree in Kangra district today. While talking to mediapersons at
Shahpur, he said Virbhadra filed revised I-T returns for the past three financial years in which his agriculture income rose from six times to 30 times.
BJP expels 10 rebels
Shimla, October 23
The BJP today expelled 10 rebels who had entered the electoral fray against the official candidates.
Mankotia’s charisma versus Sarveen’s hard work
: This constituency is being keenly observed as the political career of former Congress minister and maverick leader Vijai Singh Mankotia is at stake. A month before elections were announced, Mankotia was carrying out his tirade against Virbhadra Singh, against whom he had released an audio CD that became the basis of a corruption case against the former Chief Minister.
Vijai Singh Mankotia addresses a rally.
BJP man in cash-for-query scam returns
It is a desperate battle for political rehabilitation that BJP’s three-time MP Suresh Chandel is waging from this constituency after remaining in political wilderness for the last six years in the aftermath of the cash-for-query revelations that had rocked the nation.
Tough fight for sitting legislator
The old Hindustan-Tibet Road is bumpy beyond Wangtu and so is the ride of the BJP candidate and sitting Kinnaur legislator Tejwant Singh
Negi. He has to contend with a party rebel, Chet Ram Negi, in addition to anti-incumbency.
Sole Cong MLA in dist eyes hat-trick
The lone Congress MLA in the district, Sukhvinder Singh, better known as Sukhu, is locked in a triangular contest. Sukhu is known for electioneering skill and maintaining clout in the Congress and among the electorate. He had sprung a surprise by winning in 2003.
Old rivals take on each other again
Inder Singh of the BJP is facing a tough fight while old warhorse Rangila Ram Rao of the Congress is riding on the shoulders of his mentor Virbhadra Singh to revive his political fortunes. Inder Singh managed to break Rao’s citadel, then Gopalpur, in 2007.
Small parties head to the hills
Mandi, October 23
In a bid to get recognition or political bargaining power, ambitious nondescript parties and regional outfits have headed to the state to strike deals with state fronts. A recent example is the Samast Bharatiya Party
(SBP), which has struck an alliance with the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), led by Maheshwar Singh.
October 23, 2012
watch: nagrota Bagwan
aims to rewrite electoral history
Nagrota Bagwan: This constituency has been the bastion of senior
Congress leader GS Bali since 1998. He won thrice consecutively. This
time, he is seeking to save his bastion from aide-turned-opponent Arun
Mehra, popularly known as Kuka in Nagrota Bagwan, and BJP candidate
rivals face off again
Sulah: Being a constituency of unpredictable electorate who even
defeated Shanta Kumar after having remained the Chief Minister in the
1993 poll, the people of Sulah will once again have to choose between
the traditional rivals, Jagjivan Pal of the Congress and Vipin Parmar
of the BJP.
contest on the cards
Solan: A tough contest appears to be on the cards in Solan
constituency, which has been reserved after delimitation, forcing the
BJP and the Congress to field new candidates. While the BJP has
fielded zila parishad chairperson Sheila Kumari, the Congress has
chosen Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Dhani Ram Shandil, who
had contested the 2009 parliamentary elections unsuccessfully from
hopper may not have it easy this time
Dharampur: BJP’s second-time candidate Mohinder Singh has changed
five parties in the last five elections. The winds of change are
shaking his stronghold that he has been lording over in the last 22
years. He is facing a tough battle from a young Congress second-time
candidate, Chander Shekhar, who is seeking vote for change.
Cong candidate faces 3-time BJP MLA
Badsar: The main contest in this
constituency, earlier Nadaunta, in Hamirpur district is between BJP
candidate Baldev Sharma and Congress candidate Inder Dutt Lakhanpal.
While Baldev Sharma is in the fray for the fourth time after
registering three consecutive wins, the Congress candidate is a new
gets rousing reception in Mandi
In a gesture to mobilise the masses for the Assembly elections, AICC
president Sonia Gandhi today mesmerised the Congress Vishal Jan Sabha
Rally crowd when she stepped down from the high-security dais after
her attacking speech and went round the historic Paddal Maidan
BJP releases ‘appease-all’ manifesto
Having adopted the tactical approach of “appease all”, the BJP, in
its election manifesto released here today, promised to provide free
induction plates to every household to reduce dependence on LPG,
enhancement of daily wages from Rs 150 to Rs 250, hike in social
security pension from Rs 450 to Rs 650 and jobs for 10 lakh
Shanta Kumar shakes hands with PK
Dhumal after the release of the election manifesto of the BJP in
Shimla on Monday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
or BJP doors closed forever, Shanta warns rebels
National BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar today said the party rebels
who refused to retire from the contest would be expelled from the
party not just for six years, but forever.
son refutes Virbhadra’s allegation
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s younger son Arun Dhumal has
refuted Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Virbhadra
Singh’s allegation of buying benami land at Kasauli in name of
toll-free helpline for poll info
A toll-free telephone No. 1800-180-8021 has been set up in the 24-hour
control room under the “General Assistant” to the Deputy
Commissioner (DC) here for giving or asking any election-related
information or complaint in the town from across the district.
Dasehra festivities up political heat in Kullu
The divine political tremor has upped the political heat in the
“valley of gods”, which is gearing up for the week-long
international Kullu Dasehra festival at the historic Dhalpur Maidan
here from October 24.
copied BJP’s earlier manifesto: Dhumal
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has said the Congress manifesto was
just a copy of the BJP manifesto of the earlier Assembly elections,
which had already been implemented by the BJP government in toto. It
proves that the Congress has lost its grip over developments, which
have happened here during the past five years, apart from it having
not a single leader with vision, imagination and practical sense of
knowing the present problems of the state.
awareness drive begins
Chamba, October 22
To ensure greater participation of people in the electoral process of
the Assembly elections, the Zila Saaksharta Samitti (ZSS) has kicked
off a voter literacy and awareness drive under the aegis of the
National Literacy Mission this week.
women exercise franchise in state than men
Shimla, October 22
Women may have been lagging
behind in the electoral arena, but they have overtaken men in
exercising their right to franchise. It has taken eight Assembly
elections and over three decades for hill women to outdo their men
counterparts in the polling arena.
October 22, 2012
Delimitation brings Stokes back
Theog: Delimitation has brought Leader of the Opposition Vidya Stokes back to her old constituency
Theog, where she is locked in a multi-cornered electoral battle involving
BJP, CPM and TMC candidates.
||Vidya Stokes with her supporters. File photo
It’s Cong versus BJP rebel
Nurpur: Nurpur has been the bastion of late Congress minister Sat Mahajan. This time, his son Ajay Mahajan is contesting as the Congress candidate from the area.
‘Chacha-Bhatija’ battle again
Jogindernagar: BJP candidate Gulab Singh Thakur, the second most powerful man in the Dhumal government, is under threat. He is besieged not only by his nephew from the
Congress, Surinderpal Thakur, but also by the Sangh Parivar, the CPM and four others.
A tale of two families
Hamirpur: Two political families dominating the electoral politics of Hamirpur are pitted against each other for the 10th time. The families of the late BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand Thakur and Congress leader Prem Chand Verma have remained in the fray for decades.
3-way fight in Shanta Kumar’s hometown
Palampur: Being the hometown of Shanta Kumar, his loyalist and sitting BJP MLA
Praveen Sharma is banking on the former Chief Minister’s stature and influence
to defeat his Congress opponent Brij Behari Lal Butail.
Dhiman aims to hit a ‘sixer’
Bhoranj: In this constituency, earlier Mewa, four candidates are in the fray, but the main contest is between Education Minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman and Ramesh Chand Dogra of the Congress.
Dhiman, who had won this seat in five consecutive elections since 1990, is pitted against
Dogra, a new candidate.
Virbhadra ready to face probe on charges, hits out at media
Hamirpur, October 21
HPCC president Virbhadra Singh has accused sections of the media for allegedly conspiring against him to tarnish his image.
HPCC president Virbhadra Singh greeted by supporters at the Gandhi Chowk in Hamirpur. A Tribune photograph
Sonia to address rally in Mandi today
Mandi, October 21
All-India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi will address the first big rally in support of party candidates at the Paddal Maidan here tomorrow to woo electors for state Assembly poll billed for November 4.
BJP tries to persuade rebels
Shimla, October 21
Unlike the Congress, the BJP has adopted a wait-and-watch policy before expelling rebels from the party, giving them some more time to retire from the contest, failing which action will be taken.
Centre has failed to protect state’s interests: CM
Panarsa (Mandi), October 21
Chief Minister PK Dhumal and other leaders gave a punch to the BJP campaign in Darang today in support of party candidate Jawahar Lal Thakur and attacked Union Minister Anand Sharma, saying that the UPA government had failed to protect the interests of the state.
CM PK Dhumal with candidate Jawahar Lal Thakur at Panarsa in Darang on Sunday. Photo: Jai Kumar
Dhumal will be CM for third time: Shanta
Chamba, October 21
National vice-president of the BJP Shanta Kumar has explicitly stated that PK
Dhumal, who is the present Chief Minister, would become the Chief Minister for the third time, as it was certain that the BJP would form the next government in the state.
‘Cong gave ticket to kin of politicians on merit’
Chandi (Baddi), October 21
The Congress today defended the grant of ticket to politicians’ sons and daughters. Such ticket were granted on merit as these candidates had the potential to win.
George Cross: Poll impact being felt in London
Shimla, October 21
Election fervour might have gripped the hill state here, but its impact is being felt overseas in London where the legal battle to get back the George Cross awarded posthumously to Naik Kirpa Ram from Bilaspur in 1946 is being fought in the Queen’s Court.
Police faces huge
Dharamsala, October 21
The police faces the enormous task of getting firearms and ammunition of licensed gun holders deposited in police stations or with registered arms dealers in Kangra district.
October 21, 2012
CPM promises unemployment allowance, daily wage hike
Shimla, October 20
High on its victory in the recent Shimla Municipal Corporation (MC) elections, the CPM today released its election manifesto, promising Rs 1,000 as unemployment allowance.
From left: Sanjay Chauhan, Kuldeep Tanwar, Onkar Shaad, Tikender Panwar and Vijendra Mehra release the manifesto in Shimla on
Saturday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
‘MLAs to decide CM’
Shimla, October 20
Evading a direct reply on the question of becoming the Chief Minister if the Congress is voted to power, Union minister Anand Sharma today said the decision would be taken by the Congress Legislature Party
Cong agenda: Doles for jobless, laptops for toppers
Shimla, October 20
In an all-out bid to woo employees and the youth, particularly the jobless, the Congress yesterday came out with a plethora of promises.
Cong manifesto a bluff: CM
Solan, October 20
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today claimed that the Congress manifesto, promising corruption-free and transparent governance, was a bluff as the Centre was involved in a number of scams.
Virbhadra warns Congress rebels
Bilaspur, October 20
HPCC president Virbhadra Singh has warned Congress rebels who have filed their papers against official candidates to either withdraw from the contest within time, retire from it at the earliest or face stringent action from the party high command.
Rebels refuse to relent
Shimla, October 20
Efforts to persuade rebels to withdraw have proved futile as a majority of them refused to relent.
October 20, 2012
Virbhadra on new but easy turf
With his traditional constituency Rohru reserved for Scheduled Castes after the delimitation, Congress heavyweight Virbhadra Singh has been forced to shift to the newly created Shimla Rural seat.
||Vikramaditya Singh drives for his father Virbhadra Singh, Congress candidate from Shimla Rural, during the campaign on Friday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
Six royal scions in poll fray
Shimla, October 19
Scions of rulers of erstwhile princely states have been trying their luck in the political battlefield since the first election in 1952. This time, six of them are in the fray, none being fielded by the
Doles for jobless,
laptops for toppers on Cong agenda
Shimla, October 19
In an all-out bid to woo employees and the youth, particularly the
jobless, the Congress today came out with a plethora of promises.
left: Kaul Singh Thakur, Anand Sharma, Birender Singh, Virbhadra Singh, Sheila Dikshit and Vidya Stokes release the Congress manifesto in Shimla
on Friday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
CM aspirant Kaul Singh faces challenge at home
Congress stalwart Kaul Singh Thakur, though a chief-ministerial aspirant, is fighting a battle of his lifetime from this constituency that he has lorded over for nearly three decades.
Rebels may cost Cong dear
Shimla, October 19
With rebels entering the fray against official Congress candidates, the party’s failure to rein in rebels may cost the Congress dear.
Although the phenomenon is not new for the Congress as it is not a cadre-based party like the Bharatiya Janata Party, it may hurt electoral prospects in many segments, particularly where the parties appear to be heading for a close fight.
Price rise synonymous with Cong: Dhumal
Solan, October 19
Chief Minister PK Dhumal said today that the Congress had ‘failed’ to protect the interest of the state. The ‘involvement’ of a close family of the Pradesh Congress Committee chief Virbhadra Singh in a ‘shady land deal’ in Kasauli tehsil had ‘exposed’ the real face of the Congress, he claimed.
PK Dhumal addresses a public rally at Dharampur in Solan district on Friday.
Dhumal up against scion of BJP family
The constituency this time has a very interesting contest as BJP candidate Chief Minister PK Dhumal is pitted against a Congress candidate, Narender
Thakur, who is former Hamirpur district BJP president and son of BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand
Thakur. Dhumal shifted to the Hamirpur constituency in this election after his home constituency,
Bamsan, was scrapped in the last delimitation.
Second run for MLA after 11-month stint
The Nalagarh constituency in Solan district is going to be the battleground for the sitting Congress MLA Lakhwinder Rana for the second time in less than a
year. Rana had wrested this seat from the BJP’s Gurnam Kaur in November last year by a margin of 1,599 votes following a byelection after the death of BJP MLA HN
Saini. The seat had been with Saini since 1998, when he had defeated five-time Congress MLA Vijender Singh. Saini subsequently won in 1998, 2003 and
Kamla’s entry makes it a three-way
The entry of Dharamsala Municipal Council president Kamla Patial as Independent candidate from the Dharamsala constituency has turned the contest from bipolar to triangular. She is a former BJP leader and was at one time considered close to Chief Minister Prem Kumar
Land deals: Virbhadra’s brother-in-law demands CBI inquiry
Shimla, October 19
Alleging large-scale land deals in the Kasauli region, Arun Sen, brother-in-law of HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh, has demanded a CBI probe into land sale deeds registered in the name of Jaswant
Singh, a resident of Bhnun village in Jaisinghpur, and his links with the powers that be.
J&K BJP leaders assigned duties
Jammu, October 19
BJP leaders from J&K have assigned the job to strengthen the organisational set-up to ensure the victory of party candidates in Chamba district. A team of 20 BJP leaders have been camping at
BJP rebels stick to their guns
Mandi/Kullu, October 19
Bharatiya Janata Party rebels in Mandi and Kullu districts are campaigning even as senior leaders are trying to win them back. The rebels are adamant, trashing media reports that they will rejoin the party.
Security in place for poll
Bilaspur, October 19
All security and safety measures have been finalised for ensuring a free, fair and peaceful Assembly poll in the district.
This was said by Santosh Patial, SP, while talking to mediapersons here today.
Rs 10 lakh seized
Nurpur, October 19
The police has seized Rs 10 lakh from a vehicle during a search operation at Indora Mor under the Indora police station here today. The vehicle was coming from
Sonia’s visit to Kangra postponed
Kangra, October 19
The proposed visit of All-India Congress Committee (AICC) chief Sonia Gandhi on October 22 to address a public meeting here has been put off in view of the Navratras and security reasons.
October 19, 2012
What the voter is talking about
Both parties bring it up — at own peril
The perception of pandemic corruption has touched a raw nerve with the common man across the country. Such is the flurry of allegations in
Himachal, that the voter is hard pressed even deciding which party is relatively clean.
More song and dance than learning
The BJP government set out to make the hill state a hub of higher education, but what prevails today is academic anarchy caused by the ‘indiscriminate’ opening of private institutions of doubtful credentials, without assessing the requirement.
Decision more political than administrative
Dharamsala: Carving out new districts from
Kangra, the biggest district in the state in terms of population and number of Assembly constituencies, remained a hot issue through the last year of the BJP government.
Shanta to focus on Kangra, Chamba
Shimla, October 18
Having kept himself aloof from party affairs for over two years, Bharatiya Janata Party national vice-president and Rajya Sabha member Shanta Kumar is keen to keep himself confined to campaigning in Kangra and Chamba districts.
Sonia, Manmohan, Rahul to campaign
Shimla, October 18
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi and several other leaders will campaign for the party during the ensuing Assembly elections.
Cong chief to visit
Kangra on Oct 22
Kangra: All-India Congress Committee (AICC) chief Sonia Gandhi will visit Kangra town on October 22 to address a public meeting in support of Congress candidates of this region in the local municipal stadium.
Virbhadra raps govt over IFS promotions
Solan, October 18
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh today lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) government for ‘burdening’ the state exchequer by ‘unduly’ elevating Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers and creating four additional posts of Chief Secretary compared to one during his previous tenure.
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh addresses a rally at Solan on Thursday.
Dhumal attacks Virbhadra, PM
Mandi, October 18
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today attacked state Congress president Virbhadra Singh and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, blaming them for ‘corruption’ in the United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) regime, price rise and ‘discrimination’ against Himachal Pradesh.
October 18, 2012
Mamata to pep up political flavour of HP
Shimla, October 17
Political giants like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati will
pep up the political flavour of the hill state by being new national
leaders who will join the electioneering, besides Congress and BJP
stalwarts, who have been a regular to Himachal in the past polls.
interest above personal rivalry, says Virbhadra
Asserting that party interest were above personal rivalry, HPCC chief
Virbhadra Singh today said the 68 candidates contesting the Assembly
poll on the Congress ticket were his candidates and he would work for
Virbhadra Singh, Congress candidate
from Shimla (Rural), files his nomination papers in Shimla on
Wednesday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
Cong men back Kaul Singh
Kaul Singh today filed his nomination at the office of the SDM-cum-returning
officer, Paddar, from Drang where eight candidates have filed their
Vidya Stokes files papers
Leader of the Opposition Vidya Stokes was among the 24 candidates who
filed their nomination papers today in Shimla district.
2007-2012: A PERFORMANCE CHECK-III
on salaries, little for development
Elected governments are not
known for prudent fiscal management and the flip-flop of the
BJP government on this front is not unexpected. After
exercising a degree of fiscal discipline for a while, it
predictably reverted back to its populist ways, putting more
stress on the already strained state exchequer.
settlement not done in 60 yrs
Land settlement work in the
state started in 1952 from Chamba district. It has been six
decades since, but the work is yet to be completed for the
entire state. Among the districts pending are Hamirpur, Kulu
LAW & ORDER
follows industry; public unrest a worry too
The advent of industry,
hydro-power projects and cement units may have increased job
avenues to an extent in the hill state, but it has also
added to the crime graph, which has shown a steady increase
over the past few years.
hard to find
With limited avenues and
absence of job-oriented education, the youth — a major
deciding factor in the Assembly polls — are disillusioned
with the grim employment scenario.
swings into action to woo rebels
With a large number of rebels, especially in Kangra, jumping into the
election arena, the top brass of the BJP has swung into action to
persuade them to withdraw their nomination in favour of the official
tells BJP rebels to withdraw
Shanta Kumar, national vice-president of the BJP, today appealed to
BJP rebels in the state to withdraw from the Assembly elections
immediately otherwise the party would not hesitate to initiate
disciplinary action against them.
assets total to over Rs 13 lakh
Chief Minister PK Dhumal owns total assets of Rs 13,39,281 which
includes moveable, immoveable assets and self-purchased land, while
his wife Sheila Dhumal has total assets of Rs 55,13,611, as per the
details submitted with his nomination papers yesterday before the
must quit politics till he comes clean: BJP
The ruling BJP today demanded that state Congress chief Virbhadra
Singh should set an example by retiring from politics till he gets a
clean chit in the latest kickbacks controversy to which his name is
family assets over Rs 30 crore
The family assets of five-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh are
worth over Rs 30 crore.
candidates file nominations on last day
President, Municipal Council, Dharamsala, Kamla Patial today filed her
papers as an Independent from Dharamsala, turning the contest here
from bipolar to triangular.
October 17, 2012
Virbhadra-Mankotia rally marked by mutual praise
Dharamsala, October 16
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh and Vijai Singh Mankotia today shared the dais after a long time.
From left: Kewal Singh Pathania, Virbhadra Singh and Vijai Singh Mankotia at a rally in Shahpur on Tuesday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Campaigning goes hi-tech in state
Shimla, October 16
Reaching out to each and every voter in remote villages might seem an uphill task, but the use of hi-tech electioneering through Internet, social networking sites and SMS will make the task easier for political parties and candidates.
Dhumal, 19 others file nomination papers
Hamirpur, October 16
With the beginning of the Navratras, 20 candidates filed their nomination papers in the district today. Chief Minister PK Dhumal and Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate Anil Mankotia filed their papers from
Hamirpur. Education Minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman his covering candidate Bachiter Singh, Pawan Kumar of the Lok Janshakti Party
(LJP) and Krishan Chand (Independent) filed their papers from Bhoranj.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal submits his nomination papers in Hamirpur on Tuesday.
Wrong form puts Cong candidates in trouble
Dharamsala, October 16
Wrong nomination forms sent by the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) had many Congress candidates in trouble today. Congress candidates had to submit two forms to returning officers.
HP Cong chief ready for probe over ISPAT
Dharamsala, October 16
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh addressed a political rally to seek support for Sudhir Sharma, the party candidate from
Dharamsala, at Dari village today.
Awasthy, Sehzal file nominations
Solan, October 16
With the advent of Navratras, the process of filing nominations began in Solan today.
Cong hits back at Jaitley
Shimla, October 16
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of launching a smear campaign against Virbhadra Singh, the Congress has alleged that senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley is adopting double standard while targeting the state Congress chief.
Cong, BJP leaders file papers
Nurpur, October 16
Ajay Mahajan of the Congress and covering candidate Sat Pal Gupta filed their papers from Nurpur today.
23 file nominations in Shimla
Shimla, October 16
The filing of nomination papers by candidates from various political parties, including the Congress,
BJP, CPM, BSP, TMC and NCP, suddenly picked up with the start of the auspicious period of Navratras today.
Bali, Kapoor file papers
Dharamsala, October 16
Many senior leaders filed their nomination papers in the district today. GS Bali of the Congress and party rebel Arun Mehra filed their papers from Nagrota
6 file papers in Kangra
Kangra, October 16
BJP and Congress rebels may play spoilsport in the upcoming elections. BJP candidate Sanjay
Choudhary, Congress candidate Surender Kaku, BJP rebel Pawan Kajal, Congress rebel Rajesh Sharma, Aman Guleria (CPI) and Vijay Bhari
(BSP) filed their papers. — OC
October 16, 2012
2007-2012: A PERFORMANCE CHECK
of surplus to deficit
Inconsistent policies and reluctance to carry out reforms have severely
affected the power sector, which has been one of the major thrust areas
for the state. To begin with, there was inordinate delay in unbundling
of the state electricity board, and when the exercise was finally
carried out, the government failed to adopt the right restructuring
model, which sent the financial health of the board spiralling towards
loss at an alarming rate.
The State Electricity Board has accumulated a loss of
Rs 850 crore. It is likely to touch Rs 1,400 crore during the current financial year. Tribune Photo: Amit Kanwar
memorable frame for the vacation album
Endowed with some of the most enchanting locales for a wide variety of
tourism interests — culture, pilgrimage, water, adventure and ecology
— the “Dev Bhoomi” has failed to turn tourism into a major
industry. The biggest reason is lack of basic infrastructure. In terms
of statistics, tourist arrivals have shown a steady increase.
IN THE PAST: The state has offered the tourist little by
way of modern infrastructure.
Yields put state on a high
The hill state did rather well in the agriculture sector, particularly during the past two years, which saw four consecutive bumper crops. It achieved the highest ever foodgrain production of 15.58 lakh tonne in 2011-12. With four bumper crops in a row, the growth rate in agriculture is likely to increase to 5 per cent, as against 2.5 per cent at the national level.
Dhumal attacks Cong leaders over scams
Uhal (Hamirpur), October 15
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today attacked Congress leaders for the alleged scams that took place during the United Progressive Alliance regime.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal is greeted during an election meeting in the Sujanpur constituency on Monday.
BJP ex-MLA ends fast, joins Cong
Chowari (Chamba), October 15
Irked over the adamant attitude of the BJP high command on not reviewing its decision on ticket allotment to BJP district president Gp Capt Bhupender Chauhan
(retd) from the Bhattiyat Assembly constituency, former BJP MLA Gandharav Singh resigned from the BJP and joined the Congress at
Chowari, sub-divisional headquarters of Bhattiyat in Chamba district last evening.
|Gandharav Singh with Kuldip Singh Pathania and supporters at Chowari in Chamba on Sunday evening.
Jaitley for SIT probe into ISPAT issue
Shimla, October 15
Putting his legal acumen to use, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley today launched a counter-offensive against state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh, making out a case for a probe by a special investigation team (SIT).
Mahajan’s absence, Cong’s loss
Chamba, October 15
The absence of Harsh Mahajan from the political arena in Chamba district is a loss to the Congress. In his absence, the party is facing a rebellion.
Some people believe that the Congress may have won all five constituencies in the district with him in the fray. Others are of the view that he may have won from Chamba hands down.
HLP releases manifesto
Mandi, October 15
Promising “welfare of all and regular jobs” with an anti-BJP slogan, “Kaho Dil Se, Na Bike Himachal Phir Se”, the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) today released its manifesto ahead of the Congress and the BJP.
Cong will unitedly defeat BJP: Vikramaditya
Bilaspur, October 15
All Congress men are united and fighting jointly to end the “misrule” of the BJP and the Congress will win the Assembly poll in the state with a thumping majority.
This was said by Vikramaditya, Youth Congress leader and son of HPCC president Virbhadra Singh, while addressing public meetings at the Diara sector of the town here and at Shah Talai, 72 km from here, yesterday.
BJP rebels make going tough in Solan district
Solan, October 15
The performance of first-time legislators of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is at stake, with rebels making the going tough. Though the BJP won all five seats in 2007, it lost the Nalagarh seat in last year’s by-election.
Sundernagar BJP MLA to contest as Independent
Sundernagar, October 15
Former BJP Minister and Sundernagar MLA Roop Singh Thakur, who has been denied ticket from
Sundernagar, has decided to contest the Assembly elections as an Independent candidate.
Rebel may cost Congress dear
Solan, October 15
Winning the Paonta Sahib seat may be tough for the Congress as state Congress secretary Karnesh Jung has threatened to contest as an independent following the denial of the party ticket.
Anurag seeks apology
Hamirpur, October 15
Hamirpur MP and national president of the BJYM Anurag Thakur has demanded an apology from HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh for his alleged statement against the former in the “ISPAT charge”.
Flying squads to check misuse of money
Bilaspur, October 15
District Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ritesh Chauhan has warned that during the Assembly elections offerings given in any form is a punishable offence and candidates must ensure that they do not indulge, or allow any one to indulge, in any such activity.
October 15, 2012
of the titans
he decides to woo, no rival too hard to get
He may still be some distance from acquiring a larger-than-life image
like his mentor, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and the
superlatives reserved for Modi, or even his Madhya Pradesh counterpart
Shivraj Singh Chauhan, may elude him. But the ‘Professor’ with the
ready smile, Prem Kumar Dhumal, is quietly gaining stature as one of the
BJP’s stalwart chief ministers.
chief minister, himachal pradesh
knows how to play ball, even on back foot
JUST when the political veteran of five decades seemed to be coming into
his elements after a long-drawn battle for taking control of the state
party unit, more roadblocks have appeared for Virbhadra Singh as well as
the Congress on the way to power. The high command handed over the reins
of the party to the five-time Chief Minister, who was being sidelined
for the past five years, as it desperately needed to win the Assembly
polls in Himachal Pradesh
himachal pradesh congress committee president
re-emerges as key leader in Mandi-Kullu
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh has re-emerged as the
undisputed leader in the Mandi-Kullu region, which has 14 legislators,
as Kaul Singh Thakur and Sukh Ram have been sidelined.
to be referendum on corruption, says Shanta
The Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be a referendum on the
performance of and corruption in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
government led by the Congress at the Centre, said BJP national
vice-president Shanta Kumar while addressing a press conference here
BJP national vice-president Shanta
Kumar (centre) addresses a press conference in Dharamsala on Sunday.
Sharma back in Dharamsala, Jwalamukhi ticket for Sanjay Rattan
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh has prevailed as the party high
command has reviewed its decision on the Dharamsala and Jwalamukhi
allows poll rallies on school, college grounds
The Election Commission (EC) has allowed the use of school and college
grounds for holding election rallies. Chief Electoral Officer Narinder
Chauhan said on Friday that election meetings could be held on school
and college grounds provided the management had no objection and prior
permission was obtained from the Subdivisional Officer.
reconciles, Rajinder revolts
Hamirpur legislator Urmil Thakur has reconciled to Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) high command’s decision to shift her to the newly created
constituency Sujanpur, but Rajinder Rana, once a confidant of Chief
Minister PK Dhumal, has revolted against the decision to deny him the
ticket from Sujanpur and opted to enter the fray as an Independent.
fields ex-minister Shastri from Shimla
Former Education Minister and ex-Speaker Radha Raman Shastri will
contest the elections from Shimla as the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
candidate. State party unit president Anirudh Sharma released the first
list of 12 candidates here today.
Rattan bids adieu to Congress, to contest as TMC candidate
Former Congress MLA and HPCC spokesperson OP Rattan today bid adieu to
the Congress and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC). He was sore at
being denied Congress ticket from the Una Assembly constituency. Along
with Rattan, all the office-bearers of the Una Block Congress also
resigned and joined the TMC. Rattan and the Una Block Congress had given
an ultimatum till today for change in thev Congress candidate from Una.
Cong face revolt in Naina Devi
Both the BJP and the Congress are facing revolt among ticket seekers at
the Naina Deviji constituency, and not only sitting MLA Randhir Sharma (BJP),
but also former minister and Congress candidate Ram Lal Thakur are being
challenged by leaders of their own parties.
polling booths in Hamirpur declared hypersensitive
As many as 53 polling booths in Hamirpur district have been declared
hypersensitive and 98 sensitive for the Assembly elections in the state.
Talking to mediapersons here recently, District Election
Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner (DC), Hamirpur, Rajinder Singh Thakur
said 514 polling booths had been set up in the district in the five
front may take shape as principal players squabble
While the Nationalist Congress Party and the Trinamool Congress, which
are looking for a foothold in the state, may not cut much ice with the
electorate, the Himachal Lok Morcha floated by the Himachal Lokhit Party
(HLP), the breakaway group of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has once
again raised the hope of a third political force in the state.
may play spoilsport in Doon
The emergence of rebels in the Doon constituency may play spoilsport for
the BJP and the Congress with rebels from both the parties having made
up their mind to contest as independents. While Congress nominee
Ramkumar Chowdhary, who is a son of three-time MLA Lajja Ram, is facing
opposition from Paramjit Singh Pammi, member, Zila Parishad, the
situation is no better for sitting BJP MLA Vinod Chandel
Congress nominee Ramkumar
Chowdhary from Doon with his supporters.
fields 4 new faces
With a view to winning back prestige in Solan district, the party has
fielded four new faces while retaining its lone legislator in Nalagarh.
BJP rebels form joint front
Congress rebel Mast Ram and BJP rebel Joginderpal, both former MLAs,
have formed a joint front, Joint Vikas Manch, Karsog, and declared that
Mast Ram will contest as an Independent candidate from Karsog, taking on
Congress’ Mansa Ram and BJP’s Hira Lal, a sitting MLA who had won
the 2007 Assembly elections as an Independent.
Bindal focuses on development
With Solan a reserved constituency after delimitation, Rajiv Bindal of
the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shifted to Nahan in Sirmaur
district. He has been nurturing his new constituency by concentrating on
on printing posters, pamphlets
Narinder Chauhan, Chief Electoral Officer, has directed all District
Magistrates to issue directions to printers, representatives of
political parties, candidates and polling agents regarding the
restrictions imposed by the Election Commission (EC) on the printing and
publication of election pamphlets and posters during the elections.
ex-MLA on indefinite fast
The indefinite fast of former BJP MLA Gandharav Singh which had started
at Chowari, subdivision headquarters of Bhattiyat in Chamba district, as
a protest against the denial of party ticket to BJP district president
Gp Capt Bhupender Chauhan (retd), entered the fourth day today,
spokesperson of the party Yog Raj Dhiman stated here today.
protests Union Steel Ministry ‘scam’
Bharatiya Janata Party workers today protested against the alleged scam
in the Union Steel Ministry and burnt an effigy of Virbhadra Singh, who
was heading it when the payments were reportedly made. They alleged that
the list of corrupt ministers in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
regime was getting longer. They claimed corruption at the Centre and
price rise had reached unprecedented levels under the present regime.
BJP workers burn an effigy of Virbhadra Singh in Shimla on Sunday.
October 14, 2012
Two Congress candidates campaign in Dharamsala
Dharamsala, October 13
It has been two days since the Congress changed candidates in Dharamsala and Jawalamukhi Assembly constituencies of Kangra district.
Sudhir Sharma at a meeting with Congress workers in Sidhbari near Dharamsala on Saturday. Photo: Kamaljeet
Five MLAs face serious criminal charges
Mandi, October 13
Most of the 27 sitting Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of the 68-member Vidhan Sabha who filed their nomination papers in the 2007 Assembly elections, mentioning that they face criminal cases, have once again entered the poll arena.
Anil Bairwal,coordinator, National Election Watch
Two Congress candidates campaign in Dharamsala
Dharamsala, October 13
It has been two days since the Congress changed candidates in Dharamsala and Jawalamukhi Assembly constituencies of Kangra district. However, the changed candidates are still campaigning in the earlier constituencies thereby creating confusion among party workers.
Despite EC order, candidates refuse to declare assets
Mandi, October 13
Even as 11 candidates of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and others have filed their nomination papers to contest the elections, none of them has filed an affidavit giving details of assets, which violates the Election Commission (EC) order issued on January 11.
Certain Congress leaders behind charge, says Virbhadra
Dharamsala, October 13
State Congress president Virbhadra Singh has alleged that certain Congress leaders, besides Anurag Thakur and Arun Jaitley of the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), are behind the allegation of his receiving Rs 2.28 crore from the steel corporate ISPAT Industries.
CM hits back at Virbhadra on CD case
Chamba, October 13
Chief Minister PK Dhumal hit back at state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh today for accusing him of
being behind the compact disc (CD) case. Dhumal said the CD case pertained to 1988, when he was not even a member of the House. He categorically stated that he had nothing to do with the CD case.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at a workers meeting in Chamba on Saturday.
Anti-Congress sentiment will sweep HP: Satti
Shimla, October 13
State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti today said the victory of the BJP in the Tehri Lok Sabha by-election in Uttarakhand is an indication of the anti-Congress sentiment which will sweep the hills of Himachal as well.
Expenditure observers for Solan district
Solan, October 13
District Election Officer Meera Mohanti said expenditure observers for all five Assembly constituencies of Solan district have started performing their functions and they could be contacted personally or through telephone for any related information.
October 13, 2012
redefined, roots have to be restruck
Shimla: The delimitation exercise carried out after a gap of almost
three decades has changed the complexion of several Assembly
constituencies in Himachal, forcing senior leaders to shift to new
for factionalism in Kangra
Dharamsala: The delimitation of Assembly
constituencies has changed the political and caste equations in the
politically sensitive Kangra district. It has also fuelled
factionalism in both the Congress and BJP, with the displaced leaders
trying to find new areas for themselves.
shifts from Bamsan to Hamirpur
Hamirpur: The delimitation process in
Hamirpur district has resulted in the disintegration of the Bamsan
Assembly constituency, represented by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal,
while a new constituency, Sujanpur, has been created in the district.
for Sudhir from Dharamsala
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh has come out openly in favour of
his loyalists Sudhir Sharma and Sanjay Rattan, whose constituencies
were changed by the party high command yesterday.
economy shattered, claims HPCC chief
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh today criticised the PK Dhumal-led
government for ‘failure on all fronts’ and lambasted it for false
cases against him as part of its ‘victimisation policy’.
Virbhadra Singh addresses a public rally at Kholi near Kangra on
Friday. Photo: Kamaljeet
change hits Congress campaign
Though the Congress yesterday changed its candidates from Dharamsala
and Jwalamukhi, the suspense over conformity of change continued
throughout the day today.
Dhumal says voters will ensure Virbhadra’s exit
Chief Minister PK Dhumal said today that the electorate of the Shimla
(rural) constituency will certainly fulfil his wishes of retiring from
politics by ensuring his defeat.
Prem Kumar Dhumal with his
supporters during a public meeting in Shimla on Friday. Photo: Amit
use statements of Shanta, Sushant for poll
The Congress will use statements issued by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
national vice-president Shanta Kumar and Kangra Member of Parliament
Rajan Sushant against the state government in its election campaign.
ticket or face mass resignation, Cong told
The voices of dissent in the Seraj Congress became louder today as two
ticket seekers Prof Vir Singh Chauhan and Chet Ram Thakur, Congress
block president, and their supporters today gave two-day ultimatum to
the party high command to change the ticket or face mass resignation.
Congress to woo rebels
The Congress is all set to check the threat of rebellion in the party
following the ticket allotment. Virbhadra Singh has said all efforts
will be made to persuade rebels to fall in line and honour the
Virbhadra Singh addresses a press conference in Nurpur. Photo by
BJP eye ex-servicemen’s support
One-rank-one-pension for ex-servicemen has been a very significant and
emotional issue during the past few elections in the state and both
Congress and BJP are preparing to use this issue to win support of
ex-servicemen and their families in the coming Assembly elections.
dominate the House
Himachal Pradesh may have been a poor state bestowed with a
“special” category status, but its elected representatives are
heat is on: Traffic jams and spontaneous
micro-rallies by contestants are already the order of the day
in Himachal. Seen here, a street meeting at Boileauganj in
Shimla on Friday. Photo: Amit Kanwar
mollifies Nachan MLA
The top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stepped up
efforts to douse the flames of rebellion, with Chief Minister PK
Dhumal today achieving partial success as he managed to mollify Nachan
legislator Dile Ram. Former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar remained
firm on his demand for the ticket from Dehra.
Sushant to contest as Independent
The BJP will face another rebel in the Fatehpur Assembly segment in
lower Kangra district after denial of the party ticket to Sudha
Sushant, a strong ticket contender and wife of suspended Kangra BJP MP
announces 7 candidates
The Communist Party of India (CPI) announced seven candidates today.
They are Krishan Kumar Kaushal from Naina Devi, Aman Guleria from
Kangra, Charan Dass from Nagrota Bagwan, Desh Raj from Mandi, Tilak
Raj Bhardwaj from Dalhousie, Rattan Chand from Chamba and Karam Dass
October 12, 2012
of the parties
Cong, BJP face battles
within & without
infighting, the bet is finally on Virbhadra
The wheel has turned a full cycle for the opposition Congress since it
was ousted from power five years ago. Old warhorse Virbhadra Singh, who
was carted out of state politics following the party's 2007 electoral
debacle, is back in the saddle to lead the Congress in the forthcoming
The Congress has kept the question of chief-ministerial candidate open.
of the parties
under Dhumal’s weight, now he is the pillar
Having witnessed a split for the first
time in the history of Himachal BJP, the saffron party in the run-up
to the Assembly elections appears to be a divided house, making its
"Mission Repeat" a daunting task.
ticket change baffles leaders
The Congress has played musical chairs by changing candidates from
three candidates in the politically important Kangra district.
eyes BJP, Cong rebels
With a sizeable number of rebels from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
and the Congress threatening to jump into the electoral fray, the
Himachal Lok Morcha (HLM) is contemplating some changes in its earlier
announced 33 candidates to rope in these leaders of stature to contest
on its ticket.
denies ticket to Roop Singh Thakur
The BJP has denied ticket to Roop Thakur, MLA from Sundernagar. As the
news spread here, hundreds of annoyed workers assembled at Roop
Singh’s residence. Roop Singh has represented Sundernagar six times.
For larger view click
supporters raise slogans against Mankotia
Though Vijai Singh Mankotia has got the Congress ticket from Shahpur,
differences between him and Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC)
president Virbhadra Singh do not seem to have been fully ironed out.
faces another rebel in Sarkaghat
While Amit Dhumal, nephew of Chief Minister PK Dhumal, withdrew from
the electoral battle, KK Thakur, a former forest officer and a BJP
ticket contender, today rebelled against party’s official candidate
Col Inder Singh Thakur (retd), sitting Sarkaghat BJP MLA, and filed
his nomination as an Independent.
of Cong ex-minister to contest as Independent
Prem Lata Thakur, a zila parishad member and wife of former Minister
Satya Prakash Thakur, a Virbhadra Singh loyalist, today rebelled
against Congress Kullu Sadar candidate Sunder Thakur and declared to
contest as an Independent.
quits as Chamba BJP chief
Denied the ticket, Chamba district BJP chief Gp Capt (retd) Bhupender
Chauhan has resigned and decided to plunge into the fray as an
Independent from Bhattiyat, which is his home constituency.
observers reach Hamirpur
District Election Officer Rajender Singh Thakur said two expenditure
observers reached here last evening.
constituents to fight four ‘friendly contests’
Himachal Lok Morcha (HLM) leaders have resolved to have ‘friendly
contests’ among constituent parties on a few seats to keep the HLM
united during the elections.
October 11, 2012
61 years: From zero politics to
state matures, BJP steps into Congress monopoly
Six decades of democratic process has seen the hill state mature from a
Congress monopoly to a bipolar polity,
with the BJP coming up as the primary alternative.
The growth of the electoral process is also apparent from the fact that
in the first Assembly elections held in 1951, only 25 per cent of the
5,31,018-strong electorate cast their vote, whereas in the 2007
elections, the polling percentage saw a high of 71.61 per cent.
Of the total 45.16 lakh voters in the 2007 Assembly elections, there
were 22.67 lakh women.
issues list of candidates
The ruling BJP today issued its final list of candidates, denying the
ticket to five sitting legislators and fielding seven women, with
former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar having the final say on the
contentious issue of ticket allotment in Dehra, which was proving to
be the main stumbling block in finalisation of ticket in Kangra.
may mar prospects of BJP candidates
The BJP finally managed to settle the issue of ticket allotment in
Dehra and Jwalamukhi but not without creating another mess as Kripal
Parmar, former Rajya Sabha MP and a strong contender for the ticket
from Dehra, has decided to jump into the fray as an Independent to
oppose IPH Minister Ravinder Ravi’s candidature.
Only two candidates filed their nominations for the November 4
Assembly elections in the state on the first day. While Durga Dutt
filed his nomination papers from the Mandi constituency as the BJP
candidate, Nand Lal entered the fray from the Anni (SC) constituency
as the Himachal Lokhit Party candidate.
Sadar BJP leader Shyam Lal resigns
The BJP faced a fresh setback in Sundernagar and Mandi Sadar today as
supporters of former Forest Minister and six-time BJP MLA from
Sundernagar Roop Singh Thakur announced that the party had ditched him
in the middle of his campaign. While Mandi Sadar mandal chief Shyam
Lal today resigned from the party and decided to contest as an
Independent against official candidate DD Thakur, who filed his
brother-in-law opposes Cong candidate
HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh, who managed to win over his arch rivals,
including Vijay Mankotia, faced an awkward situation when his
brother-in-law Vir Vikram Singh raised a banner of revolt against the
party decision to give the ticket to Anirudh Singh from the Kasumpti
faces dissidence in Una, Kutlehar
The Congress is facing dissidence in the Una and Kutlehar Assembly
constituencies over the distribution of the party ticket. Local
sources told The Tribune that former MLA from Una OP Rattan has stated
that his supporters were urging him to contest as an Independent.
leader’s appeal to high command
Sahib, October 10
Karnesh Jung from Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district, who was denied the
Congress ticket, today said he had appealed to the party high command
to reconsider his candidature within two days.
govt will be fair and lawful: Virbhadra
The Congress will provide ‘fair and lawful’ government in the
state soon after it is voted to power in the Assembly elections,
former Chief Minister and HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh announced this
while addressing a public meeting at Chamba town yesterday.
history sheeters rounded up in Kangra
The Kangra police has rounded up 43 history sheeters in the district
ahead of the Assembly elections.
Following a direction of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to
ensure enforcement of the model code of conduct in the Assembly
elections, a Sub-Divisional Standing Committee was constituted here
today. The local Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Rakesh Verma will
lead this committee as its chairman.
Congress leaders resign
As many as 24 Congress leaders, including Dharamvir Dhami, Devinder
Negi, Kamla Prarthy, Anurag Prarthy, Naveen Tanvar and Prem Sharma,
today resigned from the primary membership of the party in protest
against allotment of ticket to first timer Bhuvneshwar Gaur from
Meena are observers for Sirmour
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has appointed Valte Vungzamuan
and Sumer Singh Meena as expenditure observers for Sirmour district.
These are Assembly constituencies as
they were till the 2007 elections. For the 2012 polls, there has been
a fresh delimitation. 1. Kinnaur (ST) 2. Rampur (SC) 3. Rohru 4.
Jubbal-Kotkhai 5. Chopal 6. Kumarsain 7. Theog 8. Shimla 9. Kasumpti
Ministers thus far
1951-1956: Dr Y.S.Parmar
Last date for nominations
Scrutiny of nominations
Withdrawal of nominations
Date of polling
Counting of votes
October 10, 2012
to Cong, Virbhadra asks former party leaders
Shimla, October 9
After springing a surprise by bringing back his bete noire Vijay Singh
Mankotia into the party fold, state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh today
extended an invitation with open arms to all those who had left the
party for one reason or the other to join hands and help throw out the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh
addresses mediapersons at the Congress Bhawan in Shimla on Tuesday.
Photo: Amit Kumar
in Catch-22 situation over Ravi
A party ticket for Irrigation and Public Health Minister Ravinder Ravi
has become a major bottleneck for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The issue is snowballing into a controversy that can mar the chances
of the BJP in various constituencies in Kangra district if not
resolved in tomorrow’s ticket allotment exercise.
BJP candidates face rebellion in Bilaspur
The Congress is facing rebellion on all four seats of this district on
the distribution of ticket in Bilaspur Sadar, Jhandutta, Ghumarwin and
Kot Kehloor while the position of the BJP is no better.
has no confidence in state employees: Dhumal
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today flayed Himachal Pradesh
Congress Committee (HPCC) president Virbhadra Singh for
doubting the credentials of the bureaucracy in the state.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal
addresses mediapersons in Una on Tuesday.
chiefs yet to identify history sheeters
There are about 1,000 history sheeters and “criminals with personal
files, who are pressed into service to lure flexible voters in
vulnerable sections by cash and kind in the state”.
govt most corrupt: Rattan
The Congress candidate from Jwalamukhi, Sanjay Rattan, was
today accorded a rousing reception at the Nadaun bridge on his
arrival in Jwalamukhi today. He reached the Nadaun bridge this
Congress candidate Sanjay Rattan is received by supporters in
Jwalamukhi on Tuesday. Photo by writer
makes efforts to recapture Arki seat
Sanjay Awasthy, Congress nominee from the Arki constituency, began his
poll campaign after receiving a rousing welcome at Gamber Pul and
other parts of the constituency.
ticket seekers threaten to resign
Ticket contenders Dharamvir Dhami and Devinder Negi today revolted
against first-timer Bhuvneshwar Gaur from Manali and Satya Prakash
rebelled against another first-timer Sunder Thakur from Kullu Sadar.
quits BJP, to contest on HLP ticket from Kasumpti
Putting an end to his two-year feud with Chief Minister PK Dhumal, the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Rohru, Khushi Ram
Balnatah, today finally bid adieu to the ruling party, with which he
remained associated since his college days four decades ago.
polling booths hyper sensitive
The Election Commission (EC) has indentified 16 polling stations as
hyper sensitive and 20 as sensitive in Palampur and Sulah
constituencies of this sub-division. Addressing a press conference
here today, Bhupinder Attari, SDM, Palampur-cum-Assistant Returning
Officer, told mediapersons that in the Sulaha constituency 11 polling
stations were Drang, Dheera-1, Nanao, Maranda-1, Dehan-1, Sulaha-1,
Khera-1, Talinu, Purbha, Bhuwana and Thural-1 were declared hyper
compliance with model code of conduct, parties told
The 8,423 arms licence holders in the district have been directed to
deposit their arms. In addition, video surveillance teams, flying
squads and static nakas will videograph party rally venues.
Congress ticket, women aspirants upset
After the announcement of Congress candidates, women ticket aspirants
are upset over their claims having being ignored. Though more than 50
women had applied, only four were allotted the ticket.
32 women won in 12 Assembly elections!
As far as the involvement of women in politics in Himachal Pradesh is
concerned, it has mainly remained the domain of women hailing from
families of erstwhile rulers or members of established political
families, with only a few being able to make it on their own without a
BJP candidate Brij Lal joins Congress
Perturbed at the denial of the party ticket, the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) candidate from Rampur in the last Assembly elections, Brij
Lal, today quit the party and joined the Congress.
from taking bribe during poll, says DC
District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner (DC), Hamirpur,
Rajinder Singh Thakur said as per Section 171-B, IPC, any person
giving or accepting any gratification in cash or kind during the
Assembly elections, with a view to induce any person to exercise his
electoral right, is a punishable offence with a provision of
imprisonment up to one year and fine or both.
rebel Rajesh to contest as Independent
A Congress leader from Kangra, Dr Rajesh Sharma, has announced his
candidature as an Independent after being denied the party ticket.
Addressing a press conference here today, Rajesh said he had been
working in the constituency for the last five years, during which he
toured all 45 villages in the constituency, but the party denied him
hoardings, images of Central schemes, EC urged
Raising questions over the decision of the Election Commission to ban
use of carry bags bearing image of Atal Bihari Vajpayee for subsidised
ration, the BJP today demanded removal of all hoardings and
photographs of the MNREGA, the Bharat Nirman and other centrally
begins Cong campaign in Dalhousie
Former minister and secretary of the All-India Congress Committee Asha
Kumari, who has been allotted Congress party ticket for contesting
from the Dalhousie Assembly constituency, has kicked off
of ticket to Tulsi Ram triggers revolt in BJP
The denial of the party ticket to veteran BJP leader and Vidhan Sabha
Speaker Tulsi Ram from Bharmour has led to a revolt in the party. In a
meeting at Tulsi Ram’s residence in Paroudi village yesterday, a
large number of workers criticised the decision to deny the ticket to
Tulsi Ram and allot it to Jia Lal.
wants CBI probe into DLF project
The CPM today sought a CBI probe into the BJP-Congress-DLF connection
with regard to a housing project in the state. Member, state CPM
secretariat, Tikender Panwar said today that the BJP government had
awarded the DLF to construct apartments in the green belt of the
Kanlog area under Samatara Apartments.
October 9, 2012
young Congress to take on ruling BJP
Striving to make a comeback in the hill state, the Congress has this
time pushed in an army of young and energetic soldiers, led by an
experienced General like Virbhadra Singh to take on the ruling BJP
which has not introduced too many young faces.
block Cong quits over ticket denial
Una block Congress president Nishan Singh and his team resigned today.
They were sore over the denial of the ticket to state Congress
spokesperson and former legislator OP Rattan.
Ram Kumar, BJP candidate from
Haroli, being welcomed by workers in Una on Monday.
list on expected lines
The impact of delimitation instead of factional considerations has
played a major role in the selection of candidates by the Congress
high command, which released the list for all 68 seats today.
info on Vadra’s property in HP, admits Dhumal
Chief Minister PK Dhumal today said the state government did not have
any information yet regarding property owned by Congress president
Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra in Himachal Pradesh. If the
state government got any information, it would get an inquiry
conducted, he added.
Congress president threatens to resign
After Dehra, the Congress is facing dissidence in Jwalamukhi, where
block Congress president Nardev Kanwar has threatened to resign along
with his supporters in case the party does not reconsider the decision
to allot the party ticket to Sanjay Rattan.
misleading voters, says Cong candidate
Bumber Thakur, former Congress state secretary and Congress candidate
from the Bilaspur Sadar constituency, has declared that he will file
his nomination papers on October 17. He has already started his
election campaign for the past one month under which he has covered 34
panchayats of the area.
under pressure to decide 12 candidates
With the Congress releasing its complete list of 68 candidates, the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is under pressure to take a final call on
comment on CD issue: Mankotia
Vijay Singh Mankotia, who recently rejoined the Congress, today
arrived in Shahpur and started his campaign. He got a rousing welcome
from his supporters. All Congress leaders from Shahpur except Kewal
Singh Pathania, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) delegate
from the area, were present to welcome him.
welcome Independent candidate
Rajinder Rana, president of the Sarav Kalyankari Sabha, who is all set
to contest as an Independent from the Sujanpur Assembly constituency
got a warm reception on reaching here today.
Rajinder Rana being welcomed
by people at Chauki in Hamirpur on Monday. A Tribune photograph
leader to contest as Independent
Rakesh Chopra, a prominent BJP leader and vice-president of Ghumarwin
Nagar Parishad, near here, has declared that he will file his papers
as an Independent from the Ghumarwin seat.
rally exposes chinks in HLM
Fissures have appeared in the Himachal Lokhit Morcha (HLM) ahead of
poll as its constituents the CPI and the CPM today took out a
procession in support of CPI candidate from Mandi Sadar Des Raj and
CPM candidate from Balh Paras Ram.
women in fray from Solan
With Sheila Kumari bagging the BJP ticket for the Solan constituency,
the total number of women candidates contesting in the district has
development in Dhumal’s regime’
Congress candidate for the Hamirpur constituency Narinder Thakur was
welcomed by party workers from Ukhali to Hamirpur at different places
on reaching here today. Thakur, who reached Hamirpur in a road show
later, addressed a meeting here.
Not satisfied with the shifting of a Deputy Commissioner and a
Superintendent of Police, HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh has urged Chief
Election Commissioner (CEC) VS Sampath to remove all the officers
having affiliation with the BJP who had been given choicest postings
with an eye on the Assembly poll.
filed against BJP candidate
A complaint has been filed against BJP’s Solan candidate Sheila
Kumari by a villager, Rajkumar Chandel, where her Scheduled Caste (SC)
status has been challenged. Chandel, a resident of Kaman village, has
alleged that Sheila Kumari had changed her caste status from the
earlier general category to SC to obtain undue benefits in education
seeks support for Third Front
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has said it will go to people of
Himachal Pradesh and urge them to defeat both the BJP and the Congress
in the forthcoming Assembly elections and give support to the Third
October 8, 2012
decides 11 more candidates
The Congress high command today cleared the names of candidates for 11
more seats, overtaking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which had
started the exercise to finalise candidates much earlier.
issue to figure prominently: Dhumal
Hamirpur, October 7
Chief Minister PK Dhumal was given a warm reception at Ukhali, on the
border of Hamirpur district, on his arrival here today after the
declaration of his candidature from Hamirpur.
Chief Minister PK Dhumal is greeted
by party workers at Ukhali in Hamirpur district on Sunday.
wants charges against Vadra probed
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded a high-level judicial
inquiry into allegations levelled against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in connection with the meteoric rise
in his fortunes since the UPA came into power.
ticket, Cong MLA to contest as Independent
Dharamsala, October 7
After being denied the party ticket, the Congress MLA from Pragpur,
Yog Raj, has announced his decision to contest the Assembly elections
from Dehra as an Independent.
begins poll campaign
Nurpur, October 7
Rakesh Pathania today started his election campaign by addressing half
a dozen corner meetings in Hatli, Jawalan and Milkh panchayats.
Vadra’s property in HP, Shanta asks Kejriwal
Dharamsala, October 7
The national vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shanta
Kumar, has written to Arvind Kejriwal to probe the property acquired
by Robert Vadra in Himachal Pradesh.
Ticket denial: Nachan block BJP members resign
Sundernagar, October 7
Annoyed over the denial of the BJP ticket to Mandi district unit
president Dile Ram, the Nachan block of the BJP resigned en masse
Nachan MLA Dile Ram addresses
supporters on Sunday. Photo by writer
Des Raj stakes claim to ticket
Mandi, October 7
A former state secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and a
member of the core committee of the Himachal Lok Morcha (HLM) at
present, Des Raj, has staked claim to the Mandi Sadar ticket.
rebels can pose problems in Sirmaur
Nahan, October 7
Even as the BJP has declared its candidates for all five seats in
Sirmaur district, the emergence of rebels in at least two seats can
upset its calculations. The BJP enhanced its tally to two after its
victory in last year’s by-election.
ex-MLA threatens to contest as Independent
Shimla, October 7
A former MLA and contender for the BJP ticket from Kinnaur, Chet Ram
has threatened to contest as an Independent if the party gives the
ticket to sitting legislator Tejwant Negi.
may cost Congress dear in Badsar, Bhoranj
Hamirpur, October 7
Containing rebels in the Badsar and Bhoranj Assembly constituencies in
Hamirpur district in the forthcoming elections will be a challenge for
state Congress leaders in view of many aspirants and the past record
to contest as Independent
Dharamsala, October 7
Former Khaniyara panchayat pradhan Amar Dass Sharma, alias Nikku
Parohat, has announced his decision to contest as an Independent from
BJP busy in politics of convenience: HLP
Solan, October 7
The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) has said both the BJP and the Congress
are indulging in the politics of convenience and fooling the masses.
can cast vote in Bilaspur
Bilaspur, October 7
A total of 2,75,129 voters can cast votes in all four Assembly
segments of this district on November 4 through 351 polling booths and
530 EVMs here in the district. This was stated by District Election
Officer (DEO)-cum-Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ritesh Chauhan while
talking to mediapersons here recently. He said strict watch would be
kept on the expenditure of all candidates through a number of
mechanisms and no candidate could legally spend more than Rs 11 lakh
in this election.
on printing election material
Chamba, October 7
The Election Commission has imposed restrictions on the printing and
publication of election-related pamphlets and posters under Section
127-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
October 7, 2012
gets Cong ticket
Shimla, October 6
Among the 52 Congress candidates cleared by the party’s poll panel on
Saturday, one name that figures prominently is that of former minister
Vijai Singh Mankotia. He is set to contest from Shahpur in Kangra.
of Congress candidates
workers welcome Mahajan
Thousands of Congress workers today accorded a rousing reception to
Ajay Mahajan, state Congress general secretary and prospective
candidate, on his return from Delhi.
declares 25 candidates
The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) has declared 25 candidates.
allotment stumps local BJP
The decision of the BJP on the allotment of ticket for Churah and
Bhattiyat has taken its leaders and workers of the area by surprise.
faces dissidence in Dharamsala
Supporters of Digvijay Puri, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC)
delegate from Dharamsala, have threatened to resign if an outsider is
given the party ticket.
October 6, 2012
patch-up guided by political compulsions
Anything is possible in politics. The saying has come true with the
coming together of Congress stalwarts Virbhadra Singh and Vijay Singh
Mankotia, who left no stone unturned to destroy each other’s
political careers. Some political observers are seeing it as an
alliance guided by political compulsions.
Vijay Singh Mankotia
back in Cong
Vijay Singh Mankotia has returned to the Congress, a move expected to
provide a boost to the party in Himachal Pradesh.
leader got case filed against me: Shanta
Shanta Kumar, national vice-president of the BJP, has once again hit
out at certain detractors within the party who are targeting him.
to keep watch on paid news
The Media Certification and Monitoring Committees (MCMCs) set up in
every district for scrutinising and verifying all the poll-related
advertisements by contesting candidates or political parties will also
monitor paid news.
above Rs 2.5 lakh to be monitored
Any person carrying undisclosed cash will be kept under close
surveillance and necessary action will be taken under provisions of
Income Tax Act, 1961, as per instructions of the Election Commission.
MLA’s supporters protest, demand ticket for his son
Supporters of Indora MLA Des Raj of the BJP took out a protest rally
at Dahkulara yesterday to secure the party ticket for his son Nirmal
Supporters of Indora MLA Des Raj take out a rally at Dahkulara in
Nurpur. Photo: Rajiv Mahajan
guided by personal interest: Satti
State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti today accused Virbhadra Singh of
being guided solely by his personal political interest and not
bothering for protecting the interest of the state while he was the
Chief Minister and the Union Minister.
October 5, 2012
set to rejoin Virbhadra
In an unexpected development, former minister Vijay Singh Mankotia is
set for yet another homecoming. The flamboyant leader, who shares a
love-hate relationship with Virbhadra Singh, has been camping in Delhi
for the last few days and has had a series of parleys with Central
leaders of the Congress.
to contest all 68 segments
Having won one seat from Kangra in the last Assembly elections in 2007,
the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) plans to field candidates from all the 68
Assembly segments in the polls with no electoral alliance with anyone.
to appoint observers for candidates’ expenditure
Chief Electoral Officer Narender Chauhan today said the Election
Commission (EC) had issued instructions for candidates to open a
separate bank account to monitor poll expenditure.
of expenditure, paid news to be strict
Deputy Commissioner Arun Sharma today said preventing paid news and
strict monitoring of expenditure would be the main concerns during the
upcoming Assembly elections and a number of committees had been set up
for the purpose.
Deputy Commissioner Arun Sharma (right) addresses mediapersons in
Shimla on Thursday.
final list this weekend
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today postponed the final meeting of
the Parliamentary Party Board to take a call on candidates for the
remaining 23 constituencies in the state. The party had declared
candidates for 45 constituencies.
to study Gujarat, MP, Chhattisgarh documents
With financial implications of enhancing retirement age of employees
and granting unemployment allowance to the jobless coming in the way
of such populist promises featuring in the election manifesto, the
state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will take a leaf from
the document prepared by the party in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and
Chhattisgarh to ensure a winning mantra.
hypersensitive, 141 sensitive polling booths identified
With the announcement of the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh by
the Election Commission of India, the district administration has
geared up for the smooth conduct of free and fair elections in Chamba
seek poll duty exemption on Karvachauth
The schedule announced by the Election Commission (EC) for the
Assembly elections in the state has clashed the Karvachauth which
falls on November 2.
man for ticket to Ravi
Local Block Development Committee Chairman Sanjiv Rana today appealed
to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari and Chief
Minister PK Dhumal to consider Irrigation and Public Health Minister
Ravinder Singh Ravi as candidate from Palampur.
October 4, 2012
polls on November 4, Gujarat on December 13, 17
Straight contest between Congress
& BJP in both states
Counting on Dec 20
New Delhi, October 3
The Election Commission today
announced the schedule for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly
elections in what is expected to be a straight contest between the BJP
and the Congress in both the states.
elections baffle political parties
Shimla, October 3
The schedule announced by the Election Commission to hold Assembly
elections in the state in a single phase after a gap of 19 years has
baffled political parties as the counting of votes will take place
almost seven weeks after polling.
welcome EC move
Notwithstanding the fact that all political parties will get barely
one month to campaign, all political parties have welcomed the
single-phase Assembly election schedule.
misusing govt funds for ads, says Virbhadra
State Congress chief Virbhadra Singh has termed the advertisement
blitzkrieg in the media launched by the PK Dhumal regime to highlight
its achievements as gross misuse of government funds and machinery to
mislead the electorate.
mantra: Bias against state, corruption at Centre
With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) set to make
‘discrimination against the state’ and ‘corruption at the Centre’
its main poll plank, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
regime will be in the firing line during the upcoming Assembly
Chief Minister PK Dhumal
addresses mediapersons in Shimla on Wednesday.
to witness whirlwind electioneering
With the gap between the polling dates for Assembly elections in
Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh almost 40 days, the top brass of the two
main political players, the BJP and the Congress, will be able to
concentrate on the hill state before shifting focus to the politically
sensitive state headed by Narendra Modi.
on carrying arms, ammunition
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rajinder Singh Thakur has banned the carrying
of arms and ammunition in the district from today till the completion
of Assembly elections under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure
Code. He said there would be a complete ban on the carrying of arms
and ammunition during this period except for those on security duty.
okays 46 candidates, final list likely by Oct 6
The Screening Committee of the Congress headed by Delhi Chief Minister
Sheila Dikshit, which met in New Delhi today, cleared candidates for
46 seats, but the final list would be announced only on October 6
after the meeting of the Central Election Committee.
accused of failing to develop non-tribal areas
Akhil Bharatiya Gaddi Janjatiya Vikas Samitti president Lalit Thakur
has flayed the successive state governments for ignoring the
non-tribal panchayats which fall in the Bharmour tribal Assembly
constituency of Chamba.
will form govt again, says Shanta
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president Shanta Kumar said here
today that the BJP was fully prepared for Assembly elections and
claimed that it would form the government again.
code of conduct in force
With the model code of conduct coming into force from 4 pm today,
candidates and political parties cannot use rest houses and public
property and have to maintain expenditure registers with details of
sources of income.