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Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022: These will be top 5 battles in the hill state

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022: These will be top 5 battles in the hill state

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022: These will be top 5 battles in the hill state
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 10, 2022 2:52:06 PM IST (Published)

Elections will be held in the hill state on November 12 and the results will be announced on December 8

The stage is set for a close battle between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) in the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh. Elections will be held in the hill state on November 12 and the results will be announced on December 8. The initial euphoria about the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entering the political scenario in Himachal Pradesh has died down, leaving the stage with yet another bipolar contest.

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Himachal Pradesh has a long political history of voting out the incumbent government. Since 1985, the BJP and Congress have alternatively formed the government in the hill state. This year, the BJP is banking on ‘development’ work during its rule to retain power.
Here’s a look at some of the key battles in the Himachal Pradesh elections that will decide who will form the government in the state.
Jai Ram Thakur vs Chet Ram
Current Chief Minister and BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur is contesting the Himachal Pradesh 2022 elections from the Seraj Assembly constituency. He will be challenged by Congress’s Chet Ram Thakur. Seraj has been a BJP stronghold with Jai Ram Thakur winning the seat since 1998. In 2017, Chet Ram lost to Jai Ram Thakur by 11,254 votes. However, in this year’s elections, Chet Ram is looking to highlight the lack of road connectivity, a major contention among voters, to win the seat.
Anirudh Singh vs Suresh Bharadwaj
The BJP has fielded urban development minister Suresh Bharadwaj against sitting Congress MLA Anirudh Singh in the Kasumpti constituency. Bharadwaj has won the elections four times from neighbouring Shimla Urban, while Singh, who claims to have royal origins, has won from Kasumpti in the past two elections with handsome margins. Bharadwaj’s selection for the seat came as a surprise with the BJP saying the decision was taken by the high command following surveys and feedback. Apart from being considered an outsider, Bharadwaj will also have to face issues such as protests by apple farmers and horticulturists for reforms and agitation by government workers over Old Pension Scheme.
Rajiv Saizal vs Vinod Sultanpuri
Rajiv Saizal, minister for family welfare, health and Ayurveda, will contest the 2022 Himachal Pradesh elections from Kasauli (SC), a seat he has won thrice in the past. He is being challenged by Congress’ Vinod Sultanpuri, whom Saizal defeated in 2017 and 2012. Prior to Saizal’s win, Kasauli (SC) was a Congress bastion with Raghu Raj winning the elections five times.
Mukesh Agnihotri vs Ram Kumar
Congress’ sitting MLA from Haroli Mukesh Agnihotri is the leader of the Opposition in the state. He has won from the Haroli constituency since 2003 and is being considered one of the CM faces of the Congress party. The former journalist is said to have been mentored by Congress strongman and former CM Virbhadra Singh. He is being challenged by BJP state spokesperson Ram Kumar, who lost to Agnihotri in the previous elections.
Sarveen Chaudhary vs Kewal Singh Pathania
The fight in Kangra’s Shahpur will be between BJP’s social justice and empowerment minister, Sarveen Chaudhary, and Congress’ Kewal Singh Pathania. Pathania came in third in the 2017 elections in Himachal Pradesh, behind Major Vijai Singh Mankotia (retd). Senior leader and former Congress minister Major Vijai Singh Mankotia (retd) fought and lost the elections as an independent candidate from Shahpur in 2012 and 2017. This time, Mankotia joined the BJP. Congress could gain from the fact that locals in the region are believed to be upset about Mankotia’s decision to join the BJP and are most likely to vote Kewal Singh in protest.
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