Dharamsala (Arvind Sharma )
In the congress governed state of Himachal, the BJP registered a splendid victory, by winning all four Parliament constituencies including the prestigious Mandi, where sitting MP and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh lost.
The Narendra Modi wave turned the tables and the election results have come as a big blow for Virbhadra, and a thumping victory for former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who had lost power to Virbhadra in the 2012 Assembly polls.
Adding to the Congress woes, the BJP wrested Sujanpur Assembly seat, where Rajinder Rana’s wife Anita Rana lost the bypoll by 538 votes.
Shanta Kumar won the Kangra seat with an all-time high margin of 1.7 lakh votes by defeating OBC leader cum former MP Chander Kumar. Shanta captured 5,56,213 votes while Chander Kumar got 2,86,073 votes. Shanta had represented Kangra in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Rajan Sushant, sitting BJP MP who had resigned to contest as AAP candidate, polled 24,430 votes.
On other hand BJP MP Anurag Thakur,( Dhumal’s son and HPCA president), defeated Rajinder Rana of congress by an impressive 98,330 votes. Anurag polled 4,47,490 votes while Rana, got 3,49,160 votes. Kamal Kanta Batra, mother of Kargil war hero Capt Vikram Batra, who was AAP candidate, got only15,316 votes.
In the Mandi Parliamentry seat,two-time MP (who is wife of Chief minister Vir Bhadra Singh),Pratibha Singh lost by 39,856 votes, at the hand of Ram Swaroop Sharma of the BJP. Pratibha had won the seat in June 2013 by 1.36 lakh votes in the bypoll after the seat was vacated by Virbhadra, when he became Chief Minister after the December 2012 polls.
In Shimla reserve constituency the sitting BJP MP Virender Kashyap, defeated light-weight congress man,Mohan Lal Brakta, first-time MLA from Rohru, by 84,195 votes. This is the second consecutive time the BJP has won the Congress bastion.
The worst jolt for the Congress was at Sujanpur Assembly constituency where Narinder Thakur, son of veteran BJP leader (late) Jagdev Chand, polled 22,993 votes over 22,455 votes of Anita Rana. Thakur, earlier in the Congress, had joined the BJP before the Lok Sabha polls. His sister-in-law and former MLA Urmil Thakur had quit the BJP in protest against the BJP’s decision to give a ticket to Narinder and joined the Congress.