Old rivals to lock horns in Nalagarh bypoll again : The Tribune India

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Old rivals to lock horns in Nalagarh bypoll again

Old rivals to lock horns in Nalagarh bypoll again

KL Thakur & Hardeep Singh Bawa



Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, June 18

Old rivals will once again lock horns in the Nalagarh Assembly byelection. KL Thakur is now contesting the byelection on the BJP ticket while the Congress has again fielded Hardeep Singh Bawa, who had contested two earlier elections unsuccessfully.

The seat fell vacant after Independent MLA KL Thakur resigned from the Assembly in March and later joined the BJP. The Assembly Speaker had accepted his resignation on June 3.

Thakur had contested as an Independent candidate in the 2022 elections after the BJP denied him ticket. He had fought his first Assembly election in 2012 and won the seat by 9,308 votes by defeating Congress candidate Lakhwinder Rana. He, however, lost the 2017 election to Rana by 1,242 votes while Hardeep Bawa, an Independent candidate, had secured 13,095 votes.

Bawa is in the electoral contest for the third consecutive time. He had lost the 2022 Assembly election as the Congress candidate to KL Thakur, who had secured 33,427 votes. Bawa had secured 20,163 votes.

Bawa is confident of winning the seat this time, as he believes Thakur has betrayed the voters, who had chosen him for five years.

Thakur is also hopeful of repeating his 2022 election performance as the BJP had secured a lead of 15,164 votes in the segment in the recent Lok Sabha elections. He has been raising the issue of stalled development works in his constituency while trying to muster support of the voters.

The seat has witnessed a triangular contest in the past two Assembly elections with three candidates either switching parties or contesting as Independent candidates.

It remains to be seen if any Independent candidate will file papers as Rana has publicly shown his dislike for Thakur. Rana, who was a Congress MLA, had resigned weeks before the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections and joined the BJP. He, however, lost the election from the Nalagarh seat and finished a poor third. Though he did try to rejoin the Congress, his efforts yielded no result.

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