Una: After being denied a ticket by the Congress, three-time legislature and former AICC secretary Rakesh Kalia joined BJP on Tuesday.
Kalia was considered as a strong contender for the Congress ticket from the Gagret assembly constituency. However, Congress fielded newcomer Chaitanya Sharma.
Kalia was elected in 2003 and 2007 from the Chintpurni assembly constituency and in 2012 from the Gagret segment. However, he lost in the 2017 assembly election.
In another boost for BJP, former Cabinet Minister and five-time legislature from Shahpur in Kangra, Major (retd) Vijai Singh Mankotia, has joined the BJP in the presence of the party’s national president JP Nadda in Bilaspur.
Mankotia, who has switched sides too often, has contested as an Independent and from the Janata Dal, the Congress and the BSP. Once a staunch loyalist of late Virbhadra Singh. Major Mankotia was dropped from the Virbhadra Singh Cabinet in 2004 and ever since he was opposing Singh on every platform. He had even left Congress and joined BSP and unsuccessfully contested the assembly election. In 2012, Mankotia rejoined Congress and unsuccessfully contested the assembly election from Shahpur.