With 65.42% polling, Dehra poised for close finish : The Tribune India

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With 65.42% polling, Dehra poised for close finish

Hoshiyar Singh’s supporters, BJP workers set up separate polling booths at some places indicating sharp differences

With 65.42% polling, Dehra poised for close finish

Voters stand in queues to cast their votes in the Dehra byelection on Wednesday. Photo: Kamal Jeet



Tribune News Service

Lalit Mohan

Dharamsala, July 10

Dehra is poised for a close finish between Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur and BJP candidate Hoshiyar Singh in the byelection held today. The constituency witnessed moderate polling of 65.42 per cent.

The Chief Minister had campaigned in the constituency for about a month and almost every state minister had visited the area but there was no clear wave in favour of the party. People kept their vote preferences secret and avoided visiting booths set up by political parties near polling stations.

Dharam Chand (73) shows his inked finger after casting vote.

Disgruntled BJP leaders hold the sway in the constituency where a lot is at stake for the Chief Minister. The Congress does not have a strong cadre base in the constituency and it had never won the seat since 2012 when it was constituted. The BJP top leadership had tried hard to persuade disgruntled party leaders but their differences with Hoshiyar Singh were too deep to be forgotten. Sources said that the victory on the seat would depend on whether BJP workers stood by Hoshiyar Singh or cross-voted for the Congress.

A survey of various polling booths revealed that there was a deep division between the BJP workers and the supporters of Hoshiyar Singh, who had won the seat twice as an Independent candidate. At various places, Hoshiyar Singh’s supporters and BJP workers had set up seppolling booths indicating sharp differences.

Both Kamlesh Thakur and Hoshiyar Singh visited various polling booths in the constituency and met their supporters. Kamlesh Thakur also met BJP supporters at various polling booths, earning appreciation for her good gesture. She told The Tribune at the Sakri polling booth that she had got the love and affection of the people of Dehra. She expressed confidence that she would win the byelection and said that Dehra would get its share in power after the results are declared on July 13.

Hoshiyar Singh accused the Chief Minister of misusing the official machinery in the byelections but sounded confident of his victory.

Meanwhile, locals said that the polling remained moderate as many voters live outside the state where they work and did not come home to vote. People came in small groups of two to three for voting and avoided even visiting the polling booths set up by the parties. Though some hardcore BJP workers were steadfast in their support to the party, others were hopeful that their long-standing problems like inadequate drinking water supply and poor power supply would be resolved if they voted for the Congress.

Congress workers claimed that they had seen a revival of their cadre base in Dehra after a long time. Kamlesh managed to infuse life in the party cadre and polling booths were set up in many villages after a long time. It is after about two decades that Congressmen were seen gathering at polling booths to support the party, they claimed.

Kamlesh Thakur meets BJP cadre

  • Congress candidate Kamlesh Thakur visited various polling stations and also met BJP supporters there
  • The polling remained moderate as many voters live outside the state where they are employed and did not come home to vote

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#BJP #Dharamsala #Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu


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