This is Anti incumbency versus Sympathy too in the Rajput dominant constituency.
Hamiprur, April 7, (QNB Research Desk)
After Brainstorming sessions, congress party had announced the candidature of Ram Lal Thakur for Hamirpur Parliament constituency. Ram Lal Thakur would face Anurag Thakur of BJP who was sitting Member of Parliament and had won this seat thrice including 2008, 2009 and 2014. Even Ram Lal Thakur had tried his luck for the parliament thrice but was defeated all the times in 1999, 2004 and 2007. His defeat in 2004 was narrow as he lost by a short margin of 1615 votes.
Significantly, Congress Party, in last two elections tried to gain Hamirpur seat by fielding BJP rebels as candidates including Narender Thakur in 2009 and Rajinder Singh Rana in 2014. Pertinent to mention that leaders from congress rank and file felt ignored and either did not work or sabotaged the dreams of congress to gain in the constituency. The constituency was in the clutches of BJP since 1989 till now barring one election of 1996. The present MP Anurag Singh Thakur won first parliament bye-election in 2008 as the seat went vacant following his father Prem Kumar Dhumal sworn in as Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. This election was a cakewalk for him as his father was ruling in the state and was most popular BJP leader too. Even in 2009 general election to 15th loksabha was an easy going for Anurag Thakur as he had almost no time to prove his position as MP and his father was still ruling the roots in the state. The leadership in congress organization was not too comfortable with the candidature of Narender Thakur who had rebelled BJP and was given ticket on the behest of former CM Virbhadra Singh. The rift in congress also played the role in the defeat of congress candidate.
The 2014 General elections in India were lashed with Modi wave. This time too congress relied on another BJP rebel and then sitting independent MLA from Sujanpur Rajinder Rana to contest against Dhumal son. Rana was defeated in the election by over 98403 votes and he also had to lose his assembly seat. A bye-election to Sujanpur assembly seat was held simultaneously and Narender Thakur won the seat as BJP candidate.
This Time, in 2019 general elections, the scenario would be entirely different for both the candidates. On one hand Anurag Thakur would count on his achievements of last ten years and what he had delivered to the constituency. How successful had he been to meet the promises he had done with the people. How he had interacted with his voters in the past ten years and how he stood to his commitments. It would be his fourth consecutive win if he succeeds.
On the other hand Ram Lal Thakur who had been five times MLA from Shri Naina Devi ( Kot Kehloor) constituency would have to contest in do or die mode. The constituency was not unfamiliar for him. But stigma of being defeated thrice would haunt him too. The reprieve for him this time is that the rank and file of congress leaders was strongly standing by his side. The two factors may act favourably for Ram Lal Thakur, one ‘ the current of Modi wave, that was too high in 2014 had reduced reasonably’ two, ‘PK Dhumal father of Anurag Thakur was not CM in the state’ , that helped Anurag Thakur in initial two elections.
Thakur Ram Lal presently MLA fron Shri Naina Deviji Constituency is a seasoned politician who remained President District Youth Congress Bilaspur, General Secretary State Youth Congress , In charge Pradesh Congress Committee Village and Sanitation Cell, Vice- President HPCC, and presently Member AICC and General Secretary HPCC.
He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 1985, 1993, 1998 and 2003 from Kot Kehloor and 2017 from Shri Naina Devi Ji. He remained Minister of State, Law and Legal Remembrance’s Office, Youth Services & Sports, Ayurveda and Local Self Government and MPP &Power 1985-90, Chairman Rules and Members Amenities Committees during 1994-95, Health Minister 1995-98, Industries, I.T., Youth Services & Sports and Forest Minister, 2003 – 2007. He was Chairman, Planning Development & Twenty Points Programmes, 2013-2017. In 2017 elected to the thirteenth Vidhan Sabha in December 2017 and nominated as Member, Public Undertakings and Rural Planning Committees.
Anurag Singh Thakur is sitting Member of Parliament and son of Prem Kumar Dhumal, the former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He was first elected to Lok Sabha in May 2008 in a by poll as a candidate of BJP. He is three times MP from the constituency in 14th, 15th and 16th Loksabha. He was President HPCA and President of the Board of Contrl fro Cricket in India (BCCI) from May 2016 to February 2017. He had to stepped down from his position of BCCI president after the Supreme Court ordered him to cease and desist works within BCCI. On 29 July 2016 he became the first serving BJP Member of Parliament to become a regular commissioned Officer in the Territorial Army.