Undercutting in Himachal Assembly bypolls haunts Congress, BJP

Both parties hoping to rein in dissidents as they can play a spoilsport

Undercutting in Himachal Assembly bypolls haunts Congress, BJP

Even as the fear of undercutting in the Assembly byelections for Fatehpur and Jubbal-Kotkhai haunts the BJP and the Congress, both parties are hopeful of cashing in on the sympathy factor. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 19

Even as the fear of undercutting in the Assembly byelections for Fatehpur and Jubbal-Kotkhai haunts the BJP and the Congress, both parties are hopeful of cashing in on the sympathy factor.

The BJP is likely to field Chetan Bragta, son of Narinder Bragta on whose demise the Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly seat in Shimla district has fallen vacant.

Similarly, for the Fatehpur seat in Kangra district, which fell vacant after the death of Congress MLA Sujan Singh Pathania, the party is likely to field his son Bhawani Singh Pathania.

Both parties, however, are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping to rein in dissidents who could queer the pitch for their official candidates. Meanwhile, they have set the ball rolling for the elections with the appointment of poll observers.

While the BJP has made senior ministers in charge for the Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll and two Assembly byelections, the Congress today entrusted the responsibility to its senior state leadership.

While both political players hope to cash in on the sympathy factor, the party leadership is aware that undercutting by its own leaders could mar the chances of victory.

The threat of undercutting is giving sleepless nights to the BJP in Fatehpur with a tussle for the ticket going on between former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar and Baldev Thakur, who contested as a rebel in 2017 Assembly poll.

Similarly, the possible Congress candidate and two-time former legislator Rohit Thakur will have to watch out against undercutting by his own party men, considering the one-upmanship in Shimla district.

Dissidents may play spoilsport

  • The BJP is likely to field Chetan Bragta from the Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly constituency in Shimla district
  • Bhawani Singh Pathania is likely to be picked by the Congress for the Fatehpur seat in Kangra district
  • Both parties are, however, keeping their fingers crossed, hoping to rein in dissidents as they can play a spoilsport

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