CM Thakur rushes to Kullu to mollify rebels

Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, October 23

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur rushed to Kullu to pacify rebels in the district and held a meeting with top party leaders in Bhuntar last evening. There has been a rebellion by BJP leaders in three of the four seats in the district. In a damage-control exercise, the CM persuaded the rebels not to file their nominations as Independent candidates.

BJP candidates

Govind Singh Thakur (Manali)

Maheshwar Singh (Kullu)

Surender Shourie (Banjar)

Lokender Kumar (Anni)

Rebels who may fight as Independents

Ram Singh (Kullu)

Hiteshwar Singh (Banjar)

Kishori Lal (Anni)

The BJP has fielded Govind Singh Thakur from Manali, Maheshwar Singh from Kullu, Surender Shourie from Banjar and Lokender Kumar from Anni as its candidates. However, in Banjar, Anni and Kullu, rebellious voices are being heard within the party. Ram Singh (Kullu), Hiteshwar Singh (Banjar) and Kishori Lal (Anni) have decided to contest as Independent candidates after being denied the party ticket.

Hiteshwar has already filed his nomination, while Kishori Lal has submitted his resignation from the party along with his supporters. Ram Singh was the BJP candidate in the 2012 elections and lost to BJP rebel Maheshwar Singh, founder of the Himachal Lokhit Party. Later, Maheshwar Singh again joined the BJP and was given the party ticket in 2017, but he lost to Congress candidate Sunder Singh Thakur. All three rebels have a good influence in their respective areas and have a large number of supporters. If all three contest as Independent candidates, it is likely to mar the BJP's "Mission Repeat" prospects. The BJP had won three of the four seats in the 2017 Assembly elections.

The CM held discussions with Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur, Banjar MLA Surender Shourie, former MP Maheshwar Singh and his son Hiteshwar's wife Vibha Singh. However, Ram Singh and Hiteshwar did not meet the CM. According to sources, the party high command has bluntly told Maheshwar Singh that if Hiteshwar is not stopped from contesting from Banjar, the party may take some drastic steps. The rebels claim that they are in the field at the behest of their supporters. If they back out, the supporters will get angry.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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