Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, October 13
Five candidates were left in the fray for the Fatehpur byelection after the last day to withdraw nomination papers today. The candidates left in the fray are Baldev Thakur (BJP), Bhawani Singh Pathania (Congress), Pankaj Kumar Darshi (Himachal Jan Kranti Party) and Rajan Sushant and Ashok Kumar Somal, both Independents.
- The candidates left in the fray are Baldev Thakur (BJP), Bhawani Singh Pathania (Congress), Pankaj Kumar Darshi (Himachal Jan Kranti Party) and Rajan Sushant and Ashok Kumar Somal, both Independents.
- Political observers are expecting a triangular contest among the BJP, the Congress and former BJP MP Rajan Sushant.
Political observers are expecting a triangular contest between BJP, the Congress and former BJP MP, Rajan Sushant.
In the initial days of campaigning, candidates are going door to door and organizing small street meetings in villages to seek support. The BJP nominee was projecting himself as a local candidate and a ground level worker who has got a chance to represent the area. He is going door to door and working on his personal contacts in the area to garner votes.
The other BJP leaders, including ministers Rakesh Pathania and Bikram Thakur, have also organized street meetings in a few areas of Fatehpur. These leaders are relying on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to garner votes for the BJP.
Congress candidate Bhawani Singh Pathania is also going door to door and organizing street meetings. He is relying on the legacy of his father and former Congress minister Sujan Singh Pathania and raking up the issue of price rise. He is promising to work for the development of the area owing to his experience in corporate world.
Rajan Sushant, former BJP MP who is now contesting as Independent, has been most aggressive in his campaigning. He and his son Dhariya Sushant are targeting the BJP candidate Baldev Thakur over his educational qualification. Sushant has made implementation of old pension scheme as his election issue. He has been claiming that he had given up his pension as an MLA of Himachal Vidhan Sabha and MP. He has been demanding that all MPs and MLAs should give up their pensions and employees recruited after 2004 under the new pension scheme should be given the benefit of the old pension scheme. Sushant has been sitting on a dharna over the issue for the past six months.
Sources said that the star campaigners of both the Congress and the BJP are likely to hit campaign on after Dasehra from October 16. For the BJP, union sports and youth affairs minister Anurag Thakur and the Chief Minister would be campaigning.