Himachal Bypoll: Rebel trouble worries BJP, Congress; efforts on to placate aspirants

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 4

The fear of rebels continues to haunt the BJP as well as the Congress as both parties are yet to finalise candidates for the three Assembly bypolls scheduled for October 30.

Race for ticket

  • BJP amp; Congress yet to pick candidates for 3 bypolls
  • BJP seeing tussle between senior leaders on all 3 seats
  • Congress in dilemma in Arki

The BJP leadership is engaged in quelling the possibility of rebellion in all three Assembly segments. On the other hand, the Congress is in a bit of a dilemma only in Arki as in the other two Assembly segments of Jubbal-Kotkhai and Fatehpur the candidature is almost clear.

Efforts by the BJP to appease former MLA from Arki Govind Ram seem to have yielded positive results till now. Ratan Pal Singh was fielded by the BJP in 2017, and is likely to be repeated. BJP leader Neelam Saraik has staked claim for the ticket from Jubbal-Kotkhai amidst speculation that Chetan Bragta, son of former Minister Narinder Bragta, was finding favour with the party high command.

The saffron party's woes in Fatehpur seem to be far from over as there is uncertainty over the candidature. With the race hotting up between former MP Kripal Parmar and Baldev Thakur (who had unsuccessfully contested in 2017), the high command will have to mollify whosoever loses out in the race. The Congress could face a problem in Arki as the tussle for ticket is between Sanjay Awasthy and Baldev Thakur. Awasthy seems to be the frontrunner.

For Jubbal-Kotkhai, the Congress is almost certain to field Rohit Thakur, two-time MLA and grandson of former CM Ram Lal Thakur. In Fatehpur too the party is keen to cash in on the sympathy factor by fielding Bhawani Singh Thakur, son of former minister Sujan Singh Pathania, on whose demise the seat fell vacant.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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