Sujanpur: Political temperatures are soaring in the cool climes of Sujanpur where BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal is pitted against his protege Rajender Rana of the Congress, who is banking on the works undertaken by him.
In a bid to capture power, the BJP is going full throttle before the campaign ends on November 7. Like chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Dhumal has been criss-crossing the state for canvassing and his campaign here is being mainly handled by his younger son Arun Dhumal while elder son and Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur have also canvassed here.
In a constituency of nearly 64,000 voters of which 15-20 per cent comprise serving and retired defence personnel, others are agriculturists and have small businesses, the party is making every attempt to reach out to each section of society.
BJP supporters feel that naming Dhumal as the chief ministerial candidate has given a boost to the party’s prospects in entire Himachal as he wields considerable clout.
However, Congress supporters say that Rana, who won the 2012 polls with a big margin of over 14,000 votes as an Independent before switching over to Congress later, is a no pushover.
Criss-crossing the state, Dhumal in his poll rallies targets the Congress over alleged corruption, deterioration of law and order, flourishing of land, forest and drug mafia and financial mismanagement.
Appealing to the people to help realise BJP’s “Mission 60 plus” seats in the 68-member HP Assembly, Dhumal tells them that like a train needs a double engine to go up the hill, “for accelerated development in the state also double engine (Modi govt at the Centre and the BJP govt in state) is needed”.
During his interactions with the media, Dhumal does not feel there was any delay in naming him as the chief ministerial candidate by his party.
Rana vacated the Sujanpur seat and unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Hamirpur as a Congress nominee. The vacated Sujanpur assembly seat was won by BJP’s Narender Thakur, who is now contesting from Hamirpur as a saffron party nominee.