Congress’s pick: ‘Dehra ki beti’ who is Himachal CM Sukhvinder Sukhu’s wife : The Tribune India

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Dehra Bypoll

Congress’s pick: ‘Dehra ki beti’ who is Himachal CM Sukhvinder Sukhu’s wife

Party hopes to break 25-year jinx in this Himachal segment by fielding Kamlesh Thakur

Congress’s pick: ‘Dehra ki beti’ who is Himachal CM Sukhvinder Sukhu’s wife

CM Sukhvinder Sukhu with his wife Kamlesh at a temple in Shimla.



Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, June 18

The Congress today sprang a big surprise by fielding Himachal Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur for the Dehra Assembly bypoll contest slated for July 10.

The party top brass opted for her, ignoring the claim of frontrunner for the ticket Rajesh Sharma, to take on the BJP’s Hoshiyar Singh, who won the seat as an Independent candidate in the 2022 Assembly election.

‘Party brass decision’

With BJP crying hoarse about the Congress being a party of dynasts, CM Sukhvinder Sukhu made it amply clear that the decision to field his wife was that of the high command and not his. “I have had to accede to the decision of the high command to field my wife, considering the recent political developments. However, I want to make it clear that only one of us will contest the 2027 Assembly poll,” said Sukhu.

Even as Kamlesh (54) has virtually been pushed into contesting the bypoll by the Congress high command, her candidature could see the party romp home on the single slogan of “Dehra ki beti”.

Daughter of a retired Army officer, Kamlesh hails from Narsua village in Dehra Assembly segment of Kangra district. A postgraduate in political science from Panjab University, she has always been at the forefront of her husband’s election campaigns but those who know her well would vouch for the fact that she doesn’t like to be in limelight. A homemaker, she is often seen visiting temples.

“I have been compelled to contest as my husband could not decline the high command’s decision to field me. My only endeavour if I win would be to ensure that Dehra no longer lags behind in development, as has been the case in the last 25 years,” said Kamlesh on her candidature. Sources said even her daughters were vehemently opposed to her contesting the election.

Kamlesh is the youngest of five sisters and two brothers, all of whom reside in Dehra. CM Sukhu represents the Nadaun Assembly segment in Hamirpur district, which is bordering Dehra. Incidentally, the Congress has not won from this area for the last 25 years.

Born on April 2, 1970, Kamlesh and Sukhu had an arranged marriage on June 11, 1998. Her life currently revolves around her two daughters, Kamun (25) and Ruhan (20), who are studying law and architecture, respectively. Rooted in tradition, she keeps her head always covered in the presence of elders.

People close to the family who have seen Kamlesh brave the serious health issues faced by her husband in 2021, a year before the Assembly poll and later after he assumed the role of CM, refer to her as his ‘Rock of Gibraltar.’ While he was undergoing treatment in Delhi for months in the run-up to the 2022 Assembly poll, she managed the constituency, which she knows like the back of her hand.

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