BJP Drops Kullu Sadar’s Maheshwar Singh, Tickets School Teacher
After his youngest son rebelled and filed nomination papers as an independent candidate, the BJP revoked the candidacy of former state president Maheshwar Singh and instead gave the ticket for the seat contest from Kullu to school teacher Narottam Thakur, just before nominations closed on Tuesday.
The BJP had nominated Maheshwar Singh, a descendant of the Kullu royal family, after long deliberations, especially as the party’s vice state chairman, Ram Singh, rioted and filed his candidacy as independent candidate. BJP withdrew Maheshwar’s candidacy after he failed to convince his son Hiteshwar Singh, who was keen to fight on a BJP ticket from Banjar assembly segment, to withdraw his nomination as candidate independent.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had also traveled to Bhuntar two days ago to convince Hiteshwar to withdraw his nomination from Banjar where the BJP has lined up MP Surinder Shourie but to no avail. The Congress pitted former BJP chairman Khimi Ram of Banjar after he switched sides. Khimi Ram, once a loyal Dhumal loyalist, had resented being neglected by the party.
Maheshwar Singh was elected to the state assembly from the Banjar assembly segment in 1977 as a candidate from the Janata party and won re-election in 1982. He was later elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament in 1989, 1998 and 1999.
After falling out with then Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, he also started his own political party, the Himachal Lok Hit Party (HLP) before the 2012 elections. of Kullu State, he merged the HLP with the BJP in 2016. However, he lost the 2017 assembly elections to Sunder Singh Thakur of Congress.
Two days ago, the BJP, faced with a revolt in Chamba, withdrew the candidacy of Indira Kapoor, a female leader, and awarded the ticket to Neelam Nayyar, the wife of MP Pawan Nayyar. The BJP faces rebellion in no less than 18 assembly segments as the party let go of 11 lawmakers to fight anti-incumbency, which has led to discontent in its ranks.
Nadda quells the rebellions
National President Jagat Parkash Nadda is also camping at his Vijaypur residence in Bilaspur assembly segment to quell the rebellion and has met with several leaders at his residence. He also organized a community lunch for about 3,000 party workers.
Among the sitting lawmakers who were denied a ticket, the BJP also fired lawmaker Subash Thakur from Bilaspur and instead gave the ticket to Nadda’s protege, Trilok Jamwal, the party’s general secretary. Trilok also served as political adviser to CM Jai Ram Thakur. Another party leader, Subash Sharma, has filed as an independent candidate from Bilaspur.
There is also resentment among party cadres after Suresh Bhardwaj, four-time MLA for Shimla Urban, was replaced by Sanjay Sood, owner of a Shimla tea stall, a development which caused much resentment in his camp.
Instead, Bhardwaj was transferred to Kasumpti and Forestry Minister Rakesh Pathania to Fatehpur from Nurpur.
Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who unexpectedly lost in the 2012 parliamentary elections, also did not receive a ticket.