Bahra University

Shimla: Ignoring dissidents for the 30 October’s by-election on all three-assembly constituency and Mandi parliamentary segment, the state BJP seems to find it tough to decide its candidates.

Mandi parliamentary constituency, which is a home segment of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and rumour of Pratibha Singh’s interest to contest the poll, has made de facto hot seat. Till now BJP has failed to make a consensus on its candidate. However, the delay in announcing candidates, making a mockery of its claims of announcing candidates immediately after the poll announcement.

Former MP Maheshwar Singh, who had lost the 2017 assembly election from Kullu, has already sought a party ticket. Singh had defeated Congress stalwart Pt Sukh Ram in 1989 and later Pratibha Singh in 1998 and Kaul Singh Thakur in 1999 elections.

Pankaj Jamwal, Nihal Singh, Kargil war hero Brigadier Kushal Thakur, Ajay Sharma and Praveen Sharma are other party ticket claimants from the parliamentary segment.

The name of Bollywood actress and National Award winner Kangana Ranaut is also making round. Though Ranaut isn’t vocal about her political aspirations, yet she is being figured among the aspirants for the BJP ticket for the byelection.

For three assembly by-elections, BJP has also failed to make consensus and claims of dissidents are making round in the political circle.

Former cabinet minister and parliamentarians Rajan Sushant posing threat from Fatehpur assembly segment. In the 2017 assembly election Sushant had contested as an independent candidate and got considerable votes. Other claimants of tickets are former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar, Baldev Thakur and Rita Thakur vying for the ticket. Baldev Thakur had contested the 2017 assembly election as an independent candidate.

Narendra Bragta’s son Chetan is the frontrunner from Jubbal Kotkhai. Most cabinet ministers, even CM had held political rallies before the announcement of by-elections. However, former Zila Parishad member Neelam Seraik is also vying for the ticket and might pose a challenge if the party finalize the name of Chetan Singh Bragta from the segment.

In Arki, it’s reliably learnt that the BJP is going ahead with its 2017 election candidate Rattan Pal Singh, who had lost to the Virbhadra Singh. However, former MLA from Arki Govind Ram Sharma, who was sitting MLA in 2017 when he was replaced by the Singh – on the promise of plum posting in the government – may pose a problem to the BJP. Sharma has already threatened to contest as an independent and announced to file nomination on 8 October.