Former Union minister and National vice-president for BJP Mr. Shanta Kumar seems to have won the first battle. Most of his loyalists in Kangra, Chamba, Kullu, Mandi and Bilaspur districts have been given tickets but at the cost of former MLA Mr Desh Raj from Gangath, who is known as the staunch supporter of former Union Minister. Desh Raj has been replaced by new comer Anita Dhiman who hails from former Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal group.Â
In 2003 elections, BJP denied the ticket for then sitting MLA Nirmla Devi from adjoining constituency Pragpur, again a staunch Shanta supporter. But her son Naveen Dhiman fought the election as an independent candidate under the umbrella of â€˜Mitra Milanâ€™ and won with handsome margin. Official BJP candidate was able to get mere 2000 votes. So its going to be interesting if Desh Raj decides to fight the election as an independent and will be more interesting to see if Shanta will come to Gangath for any public meeting in support of official candidate or not.
Shanta group is also upset with giving ticket to former Minister and sitting MLA Rajeev Bindal from Solan, who is facing serious allegations in land deals. Shanta group was putting the name of former Minister M.N. Sofat from same constituency. Sofat may also jump in the fray as an independent candidate. He fought the last election as an independent candidate and lost to Rajeev Bindal with a very narrow margin.
BJP parliamentary board is holding decision for other eight constituencies and will be declaring final list on 26th November. It is learnt that there were lot of arguments in parliamentary board meeting on the candidature for Chintpurni and Naduan constituencies. Chintpurni belongs to former Minister Mr. Praveen Sharma, who is also known as Dhumalâ€™s right hand and Naduan belongs to Babu Ram Mandyal, who lost last election with big margin and could only mange to be in third poisition. Shanta group donâ€™t want to see Praveen Sharma in any cost and projecting Raghubir Thakur from Naduan, who fought last election from same constituency under the umbrella of â€˜Mitra Milanâ€™.
Itâ€™s also learnt that BJP board may end the suspense of CM candidate and declare the name for top post on 26th. Shanta Kumar may have won the first part of the battle but 26th Nov will only declare the actual winner.