With voting for bypolls on two assembly segments scheduled for Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party is aiming to maintain its hold on electorate as the party had secured lead in all the 68 assembly segments of Himachal in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress, on the other hand, is vying for retain lost ground in the state as the party had lost both Pachhad and Dharamshala seats in 2017 assembly polls and had faced worst ever drubbing in Lok Sabha polls.
The high voltage campaigning for bypolls witnessed door-to-door campaigning along with rallies by big leaders of both the party in the two assembly constituencies. The BJP has also pushed in battery of Cabinet ministers and chairmen and vice chairmen for canvassing in bypolls.
Though BJP seems confident of winning both the seats by huge margins, the rebellion by party leaders in both the segments has somehow denting the expectations and it had led the party to pull in all cards to avoid any blemishes.
Dyal Pyari in Pachhad assembly segment of Sirmaur district had revolted against the party after she was denied ticket in favour of Reena Kashyap. Dyal Pyari is three-time Zila Parishad member and she had also been the chairperson of the body for one term.
She reportedly had considerable influence over voters in Pachhad assembly segment but it remains to be seen whether she will be able to pose any challenge to party candidate as BJP MP Suresh Kashyap, who was the 2-time MLA, had made all out efforts to secure victory.
BJP’s Reena Kashyap will face Gangu Ram Musafir in Pachhad segment who was a seven time MLA from the constituency till 2012 after which he had lost twice to Suresh Kashyap of BJP.
In Dharamshala, Rakesh Chaudhary may pose challenge to BJP as he belongs to OBC voters that the community had around 25 voters in the segment but the main fight is being considered between BJP’s Ashish nehria and Congress’ Vijay Inder Karan.
For gaining the votes, BJP is banking on welfare schemes and policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government as well Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur government and also on Centre’s decisions including abolition of Article 370 from Jammu Kashmir.
Congress is banking on rebellion within BJP in both the segments and had raised the issues of unemployment, inflation along with lack of development of these areas.
Congress had also accused the state government of misusing government machinery during bypolls and had complained against Vidhan Sabha speaker Rajeev Bindal and Irrigation and Public Health minister Mahender Singh Thakur to Election Commission.
It is worthwhile to mention here that Pachhad and Dharamshala assembly seats had fallen vacant after sitting MLAs Suresh Kashyap and Kishan Kapoor were elected to Lok Sabha.
Seven candidates were in fray from Dharamshala while five candidates will fight it out on Pachhad assembly segment.
A total 202 polling stations have been set in both the assembly constituencies out of which 113 were in Pachhad AC and 89 in Dharamshala including one Auxiliary polling station at Dari in Dharamshala AC.
82137 voters will cast their votes in Dharamshala segment while 74487 voters will; exercise their franchise in Pachhad constituency.
The counting of votes will be held at Govt Degree College Rajgarh for Pachhad segment while counting of votes for Dharamshala segment at Prayas Bhawan, Govt PG Degree College Dharamshala on 24 October at 8 am.