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Himachal Assembly Bypolls: Congress fields CM Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur for bypolls

Kamlesh will fight from Dehra seat where the bypoll was necessitated after independent MLA Hoshiyar Singh resigned from the post to join the BJP and now fighting in the saffron party’s symbol.
Last Updated : 18 June 2024, 11:34 IST

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New Delhi, DHNS: Congress on Tuesday chose Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur as its candidate in one of three Assembly seats going to bypolls following the resignation of three independent MLAs who joined BJP.

Kamlesh will fight from Dehra seat where the bypoll was necessitated after independent MLA Hoshiyar Singh resigned from the post to join the BJP and now fighting in the saffron party’s symbol.

Though a section claimed that Sukhu was not keen to field his wife from Dehra, sources said the party decided to field Kamlesh after a survey projected that she could win the seat, which the party has not won after it was formed following delimitation in 2010.

While state leader Rajesh Sharma was the frontrunner for the post, the party not announcing a candidate for Dehra on Monday along with unveiling the candidature of Pushpender Verma and Hardeep Singh Bawa for Hamirpur and Nalagarh had led to speculation about Kamlesh.

The three independents— Singh, Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur) and Hardeep Singh Bawa (Nalagarh), withdrew support to the Sukhu government during the Rajya Sabha elections earlier this year along with six rebel Congress MLAs, putting the Congress dispensation on tenterhooks.

However, Congress managed a majority in a House of 68 after winning four out of six seats in the bypolls in the rebel Congress MLAs seats. At present, Congress has 38 MLAs in a House with a strength of 65 while three seats are vacant.

Though Lok Sabha results in the state were not enthusiastic for the Congress, the results in the simultaneous bypolls brought cheers. The Sukhu government hopes to win at least two of the three seats, as local BJP leaders are upset with giving the tickets to the turncoats.

In Dehra, BJP’s Ramesh Dhawala is upset over being overlooked and had even said that he could support the Congress if Sukhu gives a commitment that Dehra will be declared a district. In the 2022 polls, Dhawala had lost the polls by 9,188 votes.

In Hamirpur, BJP leaders Narinder Thakur and Urmil Thakur are up in arms against choosing Ashish Sharma while in Nalagarh, senior BJP Leader KL Thakur has opened a war front against Bawa. Thakur had lost the polls by 13,264 votes.

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Published 18 June 2024, 11:34 IST

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