The battle for the numbers in the Himachal Assembly will once again be fought in Kangra district which had one-fourth of the state population and 16 of the 68 Assembly segments.
A district big enough to be considered for division in the aborted plans of the BJP for the creation of new districts has always held the master card for forming a government in the state.
Previous electoral history confirms the significance of Kangra district as in the past whichever party has won a majority of the seats in the district has gone on to form the government in Shimla.
It was true in 1990 when the BJP formed the government led by Mr. Shanta Kumar and the BJP candidates won from 13 of the 16 segments from Kangra district. In 1993, it was the turn of the Congress to form the government and once again the district played a major role by sending 12 Congress MLAs.
In the 1998 elections, 11 BJP candidates made it to the State Assembly from Kangra district, paving the way for the formation of BJP Government in Shimla.
In 2003 assembly elections congress won 11 seats, BJP won 4 seats and an Independent MLA Naveen Dhiman rested one seat.Â Congress formed the government at Shimla.
However, what has always baffled political observers is the fact that despite holding an ace in government formation all the times, the district has produced only one Chief Minister in Mr. Shanta Kumar (BJP).
Now one again the there is political move within the BJP to project Mr. Shanta Kumar as Chief Minister of the state being a visionary, policy maker, and his clean image,
All Congress Chief Ministers in the state have come from old Himachal areas â€” from either Shimla (Virbhadra Singh and Ram Lal Thakur) or from Sirmaur district Dr Y.S. Parmar.
In congress, Mr. Sat Mahajan, a former HPCC chief from Nurpur has emerged as the tallest Congress leader in the district but he failed to reach to the office of Chief Minister of the stateÂ
A senior journalist from Palampur.