Congress and BJP have accelerated their campaign for the Mandi Parliamentary Constituency by-election and leaders of both national parties were busy leveling allegation against each other to woo voters for the 23rd June poll.
Congress veteran leader and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh campaigned in Nachan assembly segment. In his address, he accused former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal for playing a politics of votes. He blamed leader of opposition announced degree colleges in Ladbharol, Rewalsar, Nieri and Nankheri without any budgetary provision. Singh also accused Dhumal for misusing power to decimate his political adversaries.
He assured voters that the government would not spare the wrong doers and will punish wrong doers. Virbhadra Singh said that the Congress always believed in development and his Govt was adamant to provide overall development of state. He said Pratibha Singh and he himself nursed the entire Mandi constituency and would continue to do so in the near future.
On the other hand, BJP candidate Jai Ram Thakur campaigned in Kullu and Mandi district and while addressing meetings in Banjar and Seraj, he accused the Congress of discriminating against the Seraj as he had represented Seraj for the fourth time in a row. Thakur claimed that people of Seraj were with him as Pratibha Singh did not nurse all 17 Assembly segments well when she was an MP from Mandi from 2004-09.
Senior Congress leader Vidya Stokes sought votes in favor of Congress candidate in Sundernagar assembly segment and accused BJP tenure as mole in the history of Himachal politics. She accused that Dhumal Govt had sold thousands bigha of land to outsiders. She also accused BJP for misleading common people over false promises.
Another Congress leader, Ram Lal Thakur, chairperson of the 20-point programme, targeted HP Cricket Association president Anurag Thakur. While talking to press at Mandi, Raml Lal blamed Anurag for converting cricket body into a private company. He also accused Anurag for violating Section 118 for a hotel in Dharamsala.
Thakur praised Virbhadra Singh’s initiative for starting unique programme like skill development allowance scheme for the unemployed youth and free travel facility in HRTC buses for students. He said the Congress sought votes on development, whereas the BJP was rejected by the voters in the 2012 Assembly elections.
On the other hand, BJP leaders Randhir Sharma and Rajiv Sehaj hit out at Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and accused them for not fulfilling its promises made to the voters during the last Assembly poll. BJP leaders accused that instead of giving unemployed allowance to the unemployed youth, the government gave skill development allowance and no new scales were released to the state employees.
BJP state leaders believed that the Jai Ram Thakur was a strong candidate as he belonged to the common masses whereas the Congress candidate could not deliver when she was the MP from 2004-09.
Himachal Pradesh Congress President Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Congress state in charge Choudhary Birender Singh, Cabinet Minister GS Bali also tried to woo voters of Mandi parliamentary constituency.