For the Mandi parliamentary by-poll, slated for 23rd June, both main political parties, Congress and BJP have intensified their campaign. Congress senior leader and Chief Minister of state Virbhadra Singh is spearheading the campaign in support of party candidate and his wife Pratibha Singh, whereas strong BJP team, which has some National and veteran state leaders, wooing electorates in favor of party candidate Jai Ram Thakur.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh campaign in Kullu constituency in support of party candidate Pratibha Singh and while addressing public meetings in Jari and Shamshi of segment, he blamed former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for misusing telecom technology and used then DGP DS Minhas as an agent to settle political scores. He accused leader of opposition fir undermining the institution of democracy in the state.
Virbhadra Singh stated that thousands of phone numbers were intercepted illegally which amounted to invasion of individual privacy and human rights. They were treated as if they were criminals. He said that even if the calls of criminals or suspected persons were to be put on surveillance, there was a legal procedure, but the Dhumal regime surpassed all limits and turned the police as his private agency to annihilate his adversaries.
Congress veteran leader said the Mandi parliamentary constituency was his “karmabhumi” and he was fully aware of the problems of the region. He said that limitless development is main agenda of Congress and party functioning is bound to execute it. He said that congress led Govt is bound to frame policies to benefits common people and in its mere five months rule, his team has successfully introduces many beneficiary schemes. He said that the skill development allowance, free travel for schoolchildren, 80 per cent subsidies on anti-hail nets, subsidised ‘dals’ and ‘atta’ scheme were some of the initiatives of the government.
On the other side, BJP candidate BJP candidate and former Rural Development Minister Jai Ram Thakur challenged Congress leader Virbhadra Singh and said that his fight was not against Congress candidate Pratibha Singh but Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
He begins his campaign in the Manali constituency and addressed public meeting at Bashing, Kais, Bahang and Sajla. BJP candidate said that the fight of the party was for the Lok Sabha General Elections in 2014 and the Mandi bypoll was just a beginning.
He claimed the Congress-led UPA government was on its way out and the BJP-led NDA government would come to power at the Centre. He believed that common people are fed up with UPA rule and wanted change in the coming time. Thakur claimed that the unemployed were not happy with the Congress as the party had not given them unemployment allowance as promised and instead announced Rs 1,000 per month as skill development allowance. BJP leader was accompanied by Manali BJP MLA Govind Thakur, BJP spokesperson Ram Swarup Sharma and many other district leaders.
However, Chief Minister was accompanied by Banjar MLA Karan Singh, state Congress vice-president Harsh Mahajan, district Kullu president Budhi Singh Thakur, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Inderdut Lakhan Pal, Congress leader Sundar Thakur, Uttam Sharma, Mahila Congress chief Mamta Sharma were also present. Expelled Congress leader Satya Parkash Thakur also welcomed Virbhadra Singh at Bhuttico colony.