As the date draws near for the announcement of the Vidhan Sabha elections in Haryana, the state BJP committee is learnt to have forwarded three names for the most probable candidates to contest the assembly elections from Panchkula.
Former Chandigarh mayor Gian Chand Gupta, BJP state executive member Shyam Lal Bansal, and district BJP president Vishal Seth have emerged as the favoured candidates by the party. While Gupta has contested the last assembly elections when Panchkula was part of the Kalka constituency, Bansal has contested thrice before that.
Seth, on the other hand, is the current BJP Panchkula district president. According to sources, Seth is learnt to have opted out of the race. When contacted, Seth laughed, “I was never in the race for anything.”
He added, “Everything rests on the party high command. We will go by their decision. We also hope that the party announces the name in the coming few days.”
With the party’s preference for senior leaders, Gupta and Bansal emerge as close contenders for ticket.
Gupta had joined Haryana politics in 2002 and has remained active ever since. His strength lies in his support from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Though he had lost the last elections from Kalka constituency, he claimed that his voter base has increased ever since, especially among the urban voters.
On the other hand, his closest competitor for the party ticket, Shyam Lal Bansal, has contested the Vidhan Sabha elections thrice. Though he failed to emerge victorious in any of the elections, he finished close in 2000, with an increased voter base of around 10,000 voters. His strength lies in the his strong connect with the Aggarwal community, which constitutes a major share among the Panchkula voters. He has also been a member of various associations of the city.
Despite the clear preference of the party for senior leaders, the other members of the party have not given up. They include Pramod Singla, Deepak Manchanda, Ranbir Saini and Rekha Sharma.
“It is upto the party to take the final call after taking note of the work done by each of the members in the fray. I have been strongly rooted in the rural community consisting of over 50 villages, which many of the other leaders lack. We will wait for the final decision of the party,” said Saini, while talking to Newsline.
According to sources, the final call is likely to be taken on August 31, when the 14-member poll committee of the party will meet. The names of other members of the BJP, who are in the fray for the party ticket, will also be considered in the meeting.