Himachal Bypoll: Congress picks Subhash Chand from Barsar, Anuradha Rana from Lahaul-Spiti : The Tribune India

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Himachal Bypoll: Congress picks Subhash Chand from Barsar, Anuradha Rana from Lahaul-Spiti

Suspense continues over Dharamsala seat; former BJP minister Markanda denied ticket

Himachal Bypoll: Congress picks Subhash Chand from Barsar, Anuradha Rana from Lahaul-Spiti

Subhash Chand vs ID Lakhanpal (Barsar)



Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, May 6

The Congress finally announced its candidates for Lahaul Spiti and Barsar Assembly bypolls. A decision on the nominee for the Dharamsala segment is still awaited and just a day is left for the election notification.

Anuradha Rana vs Ravi Thakur (Lahaul-Spiti)

Subhash Chand vs ID Lakhanpal (Barsar)

The Congress has given ticket to Subhash Chand against its own rebel and three-time former MLA ID Lakhanpal from the Barsar Assembly seat in Hamirpur district. Subhash, from the Rajput community, is likely to give a tough fight to Lakhanpal as he has good connect with the masses and is considered down to earth.

Anuradha vs Ravi Thakur (Lahaul-Spiti)

Congress chose to field woman candidate Anuradha Rana, zila parishad chairperson of the tribal Assembly segment of Lahaul Spiti. She has been pitted against former Congress MLA Ravi Thakur, who was disqualified from the Assembly and is now seeking re-election on the saffron ticket.

Two of the three pending tickets out of the total six Assembly bypolls being held in Himachal on June 1 were finally announced late last night. Congress chose to field a woman candidate Anuradha Rana, zila parishad chairperson of the tribal Assembly segment of Lahaul Spiti. She has been pitted against former Congress MLA Ravi Thakur, who was disqualified from the Assembly and is now seeking re-election on the saffron ticket. Thakur had won with a margin of 1,616 votes in 2022 poll.

By fielding Rana, a mature and grounded party loyalist, Congress chose to ignore the claim of former BJP minister Ram Lal Markanda who was keen to contest on the Congress ticket. However, the ruling party decided to field a party loyalist rather than give the ticket to Markanda as the District Congress Committee of Lahaul Spiti was opposing the candidature of Markanda for being a turncoat.

The Congress has given ticket to Subhash Chand against its own rebel and three-time former MLA ID Lakhanpal from the Barsar Assembly seat in Hamirpur district. Subhash, from the Rajput community, is likely to give a tough fight to Lakhanpal as he has good connect with the masses and is very down to earth. However, Lakhanpal had won with an impressive margin of 13,792 votes in 2022 Assembly polls defeating Maya Sharma of the BJP, wife of former MLA Baldev Sharma.

The final decision on the Dharamsala seat is still awaited even though the party has zeroed in on the names of former Mayor of Municipal Corporation Devinder Jaggi and Rakesh Chaudhary, who had contested the 2022 Assembly election as BJP candidate. Since Chaudhary, who belongs to the OBC community which has a sizeable presence in the Dharamsala constituency, had polled 24,038 votes, he is likely to put up a tough challenge to Sudhir Sharma, former minister and Congress rebel, contesting on the BJP ticket after being unseated from the Assembly. Sudhir had won with a margin of 3,285 votes in 2022 Assembly poll. Jaggi, on the other hand, is well entrenched in the urban areas of Dharamsala.

The bypoll for six Assembly segments are being held in Himachal following the disqualification of six Congress legislators who were disqualified from the Assembly after they defied the whip on voting for the passing of the Budget. A decision on the Dharamsala Assembly segment is still awaited where former Congress minister Sudhir Sharma is trying his luck on the BJP ticket.

The polling for the six Assembly seats will be held with the parliamentary polls on June 1. The fate of the Congress regime will depend on the outcome of the polls as it needs to win at least one seat to get simple majority of 35 in the 68-member House. At present, the Congress has 34 and BJP 25 MLAs in a House of 62 following the disqualification of six legislators.

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#BJP #Congress #Dharamsala #Lahaul and Spiti #Shimla


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