BJP tries to bring around disgruntled leaders, garner support for 3 bypoll in Himachal : The Tribune India

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BJP tries to bring around disgruntled leaders, garner support for 3 bypoll in Himachal

BJP tries to bring around disgruntled leaders, garner support for 3 bypoll in Himachal


Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, June 17

Senior BJP leaders are fearing that the rebel factor can cost the party dear in the three forthcoming Assembly byelections in the state to be held on July 10. They have got into damage control to bring around disgruntled leaders to support the three former Independent MLAs, whom the party has fielded from their constituencies.

Party goes into damage control

  • Sullah MLA Vipin Parmar along with Sundernagar MLA Rakesh Jamwal visited Dehra on Sunday to mollify Ramesh Dhawala, a former minister, who has openly aired his grouse against the BJP for fielding Hoshiyar Singh for the Dehra byelection
  • In Hamirpur, there is possibility that former MLA Narinder Thakur and his sister-in-law Urmil Thakur, who is a former Chief parliamentary Secretary, may hurt the prospects of Ashish Sharma in the byelection
  • Ashish Sharma had won the 2022 Assembly election as an Independent candidate, defeating Congress candidate Pushpinder Verma and BJP candidate Narinder Thakur by a margin of over 13,000 votes
  • In the Nalagarh segment, too, the BJP faces the tough task of taking along Lakhwinder Rana, who had lost the 2017 Assembly election by a margin of 15,045 votes to KL Thakur, a BJP rebel who emerged victorious as an Independent candidate

Former Vidhan Sabha Speaker and Sullah MLA Vipin Parmar along with Sundernagar MLA Rakesh Jamwal visited Dehra yesterday to mollify Ramesh Dhawala, a former minister. Dhawala, who never hesitates to speak his mind, has openly aired his grouse against the BJP for fielding Hoshiyar Singh, a two-time former Independent MLA, for the Dehra byelection.

In fact, trouble is brewing for the BJP not just in Dehra but also in the Hamirpur and Nalagarh Assembly bypoll. Having lost four of the six Assembly bypoll earlier, the BJP is desperate to pacify its senior leaders, who were not considered for the party ticket and instead the three former Independent MLAs were given the ticket. These three former Independent MLAs had resigned from the Vidhan Sabha to join the BJP.

Now, it remains to be seen if Dhawala will relent and extend support to Hoshiyar Singh. He had recently stated that he was willing to support the Congress if Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu made a commitment that Dehra would be made a district, which was a long-pending demand of the people of the area.

Dhawala had lost the 2022 Assembly elections from the Dehra seat by a margin of 9,188 votes in a triangular contest. He had won the Assembly elections in 1998 as an Independent candidate and later in 2003 and 2017.

There is possibility that former MLA Narinder Thakur and his sister-in-law Urmil Thakur, who is a former Chief parliamentary Secretary, may hurt the prospects of Ashish Sharma in the Hamirpur bypoll. Sharma had won the 2022 Assembly election as a BJP rebel, defeating Congress candidate Pushpinder Verma and BJP candidate Narinder Thakur by a margin of over 13,000 votes.

Both Narinder Thakur, son of former BJP minister Jagdev Chand Thakur, and Urmil are unlikely to support Sharma. While Urmil had won the Assembly elections in 1998 and 2007, Narinder had won the 2014 Assembly bypoll and was again elected MLA in the 2017 elections.

In the Nalagarh Assembly segment, too, the BJP faces the task of taking along Lakhwinder Rana, who had lost the 2017 Assembly election by a margin of 15,045 votes to KL Thakur, a BJP rebel who won as an Independent candidate. KL Thakur fought the election as an Independent candidate after the BJP denied him ticket and fielded Lakhwinder Rana, who had quit the Congress.

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