With the declaration of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency by-poll dates, Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the districts of Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla and Kinnaur.
Both major political parties of state, Congress and BJP have already geared up for the poll and state BJP has declared Jai Ram Thakur, senior party leader and former state party president as its candidate, whereas Indian National Congress has yet to decide its candidate, but former Mandi MP and wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh looking set to get party high-command nod to join the fray.
11,24,770 strong electorates, 5,66,946 male, 5,46,140 female and 11684 service voters would decide the fate of candidates on 23rd June. Election commission has set up total 1921 polling stations for smoothing polling in this bye-election.
Mandi Lok Sabha constituency presently comprises 17 Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) segments and in the recent 2012 assembly election Congress holds upper hand as it had won 11 out of 17 assembly segment fallen in Mandi parliamentary segment. HLP, breakaway group of BJP, has already announced to vote against BJP in by-poll and it represent lone seat of Kullu, which can also gives added advantage to the Congress in poll.
Mandi Parliamentary constituency already emerged as a hot bed of politics where not only the BJP and the Congress will fight for their prestige. Congress has a superb sun in this parliamentary segment as it has won this seat record 11 times out of 15. BJP had secured this seat only three times and Maheshwar Singh had represented it all three times for BJP, but now it’s notable that he had formed his own political outfit.
With Jai Ram Thakur, state BJP has tried to even up equation in Mandi parliamentary segment, as he is an only leader in BJP rank to give some fight to Congress candidate. Thakur is considered as a popular BJP leader in Mandi circle, but Rampur of Shimla district, which is predominantly a strong Congress bastion, Bharmour, Lahaul & Spiti, Banjar, Sundernagar, Karsog, Darang and Kinnaur can give decisive lead to Congress candidate in this poll. With the improving equation with once strong Congress stalwart Pt. Sukh Ram, who had won thrice from here, and strong presence of ministers in Virbhadra Singh led state government (four cabinet ministers, two CPS and Deputy Speaker) from Mandi parliamentary gives issues and number to Congress to woo electorates.
Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly) segments of Mandi parliamentary segment are:-
Bharmour, Lahaul & Spiti, Manali, Kullu, Banjar, Anni, Karsog, Sundernagar, Nachan, Seraj, Darang, Jogindernagar, Mandi, Balh, Sarkaghat, Rampur, Kinnaur.