Mandi: With the announcement of the candidates, both BJP and Congress have drawn battle lines for the Municipal Corporation elections.
As Mandi is the home district of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, MC elections have become a battle of prestige for the BJP and opposition Congress is also out to regain its lost ground.
List of BJP and Congress
|Ward No||Ward Name||BJP||Congress|
|1||Khaliyar||Bandana Thakur||Alak Nanda Handa|
|2||Purani Mandi||Virender Bhatt||Aditya Sharma|
|3||Paddal||Somesh Upadhyay||Pushp Raj Sharma|
|4||Nela||Girish Chandel||Rajinder Mohan|
|5||Mughwain||Vishal Thakur||Yog Raj|
|6||Sanyard||Vinod Kumar||Rajneesh Kumar|
|7||Taluyar||Sudesh Kumari||Anjali Sain|
|8||Palace Colony-I||Hardeep Singh Raja||Naveen Sharma|
|9||Palace Colony-II||Suman Thakur||Bandana Saini|
|11||Samkhetar||Nirmal Verma||Meenakshi Mahant|
|12||Bhawahan||Madhuri Kapoor||Urmila Sharma|
|13||Thanera||Deepali Jaswal||Preetika Sharma|
|14||Behna||Krishan Bhannu||Jagdish Kumar|
|15||Daundhi||Meena Kumari||Anjana Kumari|
Both BJP and Congress hold an equal chance to win the elections, as BJP made inroads in Mandi parliamentary constituency which was once considered as a strong bastion of Congress.
BJP rode high on the Modi wave in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha election as the party received wholehearted support from the electorates of Mandi.
In the last assembly election, the saffron outfit had won all the 10 seats. Furthermore, the 2019 Lok Sabha election had late Ram Swaroop Sharma winning the seat with record votes.
Challenge from the grand old party, cannot be ruled out as the Mandi has given important leaders from Congress.
Senior-most Indian politician, Virbhadra Singh has won parliamentary election from Mandi and remained Union Minister twice during both Indira Gandhi and later in Manmohan Singh’s government.
Besides, former Union Cabinet Minister Sukh Ram, Kaul Singh Thakur also belong from Mandi.
With decades of experience, Congress leaders still hold a huge following in the region and will leave no stone unturned to challenge the political authority of the Chief Minister in his own home turf.
Both BJP and Congress have pitched its senior leaders to ensure their candidates’ victory in the elections.
While BJP has given the responsibility to IPH Minister Mahender Singh Thakur, Congress has appointed former minister, GS Bali to oversee the election affair in these civic body elections.
For the last four decades, Mandi election has never been complete without Pandit Sukh Ram’s family.
Sukh Ram had aligned with BJP in 2017 and the party had won all the 10 seats.
Even Mandi Sadar seat was won by his son, Anil Sharma on BJP ticket, but after his grandson, Aashray Sharma contested Lok Sabha election on Congress ticket, Sukh Ram returned to Congress fold.
Anil Sharma sitting MLA from Mandi Sadar had declared not to campaign for the BJP candidates in his own Assembly segment.
In the MC elections, Aashray is leading the campaign for the Congress candidates in Mandi.
Nonetheless, Chief Minister Jai Ran Thakur will put his full might in the Mandi elections, as ahead of the 2022 assembly elections, the results of MC elections, holds a key to the future political alignment and mood of the electorates.