Mandi bypoll: Ticket aspirants in a dilemma

Dipender Manta
Tribune News Service
Mandi, July 29

Ticket aspirants in the BJP and the Congress are in a quandary as the parties are yet to declare their candidates for the Mandi Lok Sabha byelection. The BJP has already intensified its election campaign for the byelection to ensure victory.

In the BJP, there is a long list of ticket aspirants for the byelection. Brig Khushal Thakur (Retd), Chairman-cum-MD of the HP Ex-Servicemen Corporation, is eying the ticket while Ajay Rana, BJP leader from Sundernagar, is also lobbying for pushing his candidature. Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh Thakur is also keen to contest the byelection if the BJP agrees to give ticket to his son Rajat Thakur to contest the Assembly election from his home constituency Dharampur in Mandi.

Another BJP leader Maheshwar Singh from Kullu wants to contest the Mandi byelection. He is struggling for political survival after he lost the last Assembly election from Kullu. Ambika Sood, former chairperson of the HP State Commission for Women, is also seeking ticket. Besides, there are many other ticket aspirants in the party.

Except Mahender Singh Thakur and Maheshwar Singh, most ticket aspirants are close aides of former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal. The BJP leadership has not given any indication about the prospective candidate.

Ashray Sharma is seeking the Congress ticket. In the last Lok Sabha elections, Ashray had lost badly to BJP candidate Ramswaroop Sharma. The party is also considering senior leader Kaul Singh Thakur for the ticket, though he is not keen to contest the byelection. Amit Pal Singh, a close aide of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, is also eyeing the Congress ticket. The name of Shimla (Rural) MLA Vikramaditya is also under the consideration of the party.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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