To fire up mundane politics in what is otherwise a calm hill state, Congress is toying with adding star power to bring in either Kangana Ranaut or Preity Zinta, the Bollywood Diva’s, to take the fight into the opposition camp by having either one of them as the party candidate for Hamirpur parliamentary constituency.
“We are assessing the winning ability of each prospective candidate for Hamirpur,” a senior Congress leader confided in Hill Post.
With neither political party willing to let the pigeon out of the bag yet, hot debates are already taking place inside about winning chances of prospective candidates but Congress is on a sticky wicket for Hamirpur seat.
“Besides the usual suspects, the party is seriously considering throwing in a wild card entry by having either Kangana Ranaut or Preity Zinta as the candidate to fight the Dhumal’s in Hamirpur,” the congressman revealed to my utter surprise.
The usual suspects being Congress president Sukhvinder Singh Sukku, young Turk Mukesh Angihotri, old guard Ram Lal Thakur, convert Narinder Thakur and the in your face candidate Rakesh Kalia.
Modi phobia appears to be getting on the nerves on congressmen. Rubbing it in former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has already announced that Himachal Pradesh is the second home of PM in waiting Narinder Modi.
Sensing the shock on my face, the Congress leader went on, “Hamirpur is a BJP’s stronghold but we will do whatever we can to have UPA III up and into power.”
Not known so much for his parliamentary skills as his ability in being a sports administrator, Hamirpur is represented by the young and bold Anurag Thakur. Before him, the seat was represented by his father Prem Kumar Dhumal.
Though the father and son make clever used of different surnames and many outside Himachal are sometimes unable to make the connect, but everybody in the state know that Hamirpur is their backyard.
What the congressman overlooked was that an Anurag Thakur – Preity Zinta contest was unlikely. After all there is a conflict of interest in there.
Zinta is franchise owner of an IPL team and Anurag Thakur as a Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) office bearer is one of the organizers of the IPL bounty-twenty cricket tournament.
Unable to field Madan Lal, a former cricketer, in the 2009 parliament elections, Congress then too had threatened to bring in star power by making Zinta as the candidate from Hamirpur.
The actress was said to have politely declined the offer then too.
For want of a better candidate, the party had set up Narinder Thakur, son of a BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand, for a fight with Anurag Thakur for the seat.
NarinderThakur had ditched BJP to join Congress after the Dhumal’s began to dominate Hamirpur politics.
Where congress is struggling to pull out a rabbit from its green cap in Hamirpur, BJP is also keeping its cards close to its chest.
Party insiders suspect that Anurag Thakur may not be a sure winner.
With the going getting tough as every seat matters for the two main political parties, it would not be a surprise to have Prem Kumar Dhumal lead the charge with a maroon cap from Hamirpur as the official candidate to protect the party’s backyard.