The Hamirpur Parliamentary has become a matter of prestige for both Congress and BJP. BJP has already retained sitting MP and BJYM national president Anurag Thakur for this seat; however, the Congress has divided and faction led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh backing BJP rebel Rajinder Singh Rana and state party president has forward the name of reluctant Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri for the seat.

Hamirpur parliamentary is know as political bastion of BJP and in last nine encounter Congress had won it only once in 1996. Opposition leader and two times Chief Minister of the state Prem Kumar Dhumal had won this seat three times in 1989, 91 and 2007 (bye-poll) and his son Anurag Thakur had won it twice. BJP Suresh Chandel retained this seat for BJP in 1998, 99 and 2004 General Election.

Rana is an Independent legislator from Sujanpur and an associate member of the Congress. The chief minister believed that Rana was the best choice, as despite his popularity, he knows the Dhumal family inside out, which would help the Congress in the poll. However, state party president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu opposing Rana’s candidature. Rana had won the Sujanpur seat with margin of over 14,000 votes.

Even, Rajinder Rana has shot off a letter to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, justifying his claim for the ticket from Hamirpur.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.