Shimla: Astrologers had picked it out as an auspicious day and politicians of all hues followed instructions to file their nominations at the appropriate moment when the stars of the individual were best lined up for victory prospects in the electoral battlefield.
Leading the pack were chief minister Virbhadra Singh and Prem Kumar Dhumal, the designated chief ministerial candidate, should BJP wrest power from the congress party.
Virbhadra Singh filed his papers on Thursday at Rohru while Dhumal filed his papers for the Bamsan seat at Hamirpur. The chief minister filed his papers at 2 p.m while the chief minister in waiting did so at about 11.30 a.m.
The chief minister was accompanied by district congress president Vidya Sagar and senior congressman Mehar Singh while Dhumal had party incharge for Himachal Sat Pal Jain and district party chief Baldev Sharma accompany him.
Thousands of people marched in processions with their candidates to the sub-divisional magistrate offices across the state and each candidate tried to use the occasion for a show of strength against his rival.
Dancing to cymbals and beating drums, the supporters were sloganeering victory, even though the electoral test is yet to take off.
Speaking at the Ramlila ground in Rohru, Virbhadra said, “unlike the BJP, the congress need not project anybody as the chief ministerial candidate, for that was a prerogative of the elected members.”
On the other hand Dhumal after leading a motorcade from his Samirpur residence to Hamirpur, addressed a gathering calling upon the public as the biggest court to settle false allegations about corruption, which former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and congress general secretary Moti Lal Vohra had leveled against him. “The duo have now retracted their statements by submitting affidavits in the courts,” he said.
“The congress government has not discriminated against any region in terms of development and the stride made by the state is going to a poll issue,” said Virbhadra before filing his papers, while Dhumal dispelled any talk about factionalism in the party.
“I have been made the chief ministerial candidate with the blessing of Shanta Kumarji, who is an esteemed and respected leader of the party,” Dhumal told his supporters at Hamirpur.