The Kangra Lok Sabha constituency, in the land of Katoch royal dynasty, includes 13 of the 15 assembly segments in Kangra district and four in Chamba and has the distinction of tilting the scales of Himachal politics.
With the Election Commission announcing the schedule for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, lobbying for a ticket in the BJP and the Congress for the Kangra constituency in Himachal Pradesh is set to intensify.
The constituency, in the land of Katoch royal dynasty, includes 13 of the 15 assembly segments in Kangra district and four in Chamba and has the distinction of tilting the scales of Himachal politics. The BJP is keen to renominate sitting MP Shanta Kumar and the veteran leader, after showing reluctance to contest, has indicated that he is ready to take another poll plunge. However, if he decides to hang his boots, the BJP could face difficulty in finding a suitable candidate.
In absence of a formidable OBC leader, the BJP may field a Rajput to win over these two dominant communities in Kangra.
Among Rajput probables, the party may file Himachal Pradesh health minister Vipin Singh Parmar or former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar.
Another leader, who is lobbying hard for the BJP ticket, is Gaddi leader and vice-chairman of BJP’s scheduled tribe cell Trilok Kapoor.
For the Congress, already plagued by factionalism, selection of candidate could be an uphill task. More than half-a-dozen leaders, including a former MP and three former ministers, are vying for the party ticket from Kangra.
They include former MP Chaudhary Chander Kumar, a former minister, and Gaddi tribe leader Thakar Singh Bharmouri and ex-legislator Kuldeep Singh Pathania—all staunch loyalists of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
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