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Himachal Lokhit Party on Sunday merged with BJP, even as many HLP leaders did not approve the decision of its chief Maheshwar Singh. HLP was formed by BJP dissidents ahead of the state polls in 2012.
Singh, who is also the MLA from Kullu, announced the merger of the party with BJP at rally in Dhalpur Maidan in presence of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and BJP MP from Mandi Ram Swaroop Sharma. However, many other HLP leaders stayed away from the event.
He hoped that HLP workers would get due respect following its merger with the party, and said “differences which forced us to quit have been ironed out and all workers would work for the victory of BJP.” To a question about the HLP leaders who refused to join BJP, Singh said they are free to take their own decision.
Asserting that the merger would strengthen BJP, Dhumal said, “Whenever we lost the elections, it was mainly due to divisions in the party but now when we are united, victory is ensured.”
However, Mohinder Nath Sofat, who was the chief spokesperson of HLP, claimed that a majority of party leaders and workers have opposed the decision of merger with BJP.
HLP’s general secretaries Dharam Chand Guleria, Subhash Sharma and Rama Guleria and district chiefs of Kangra, Hamirpur and Chamba did not approve of merger with BJP, he claimed, adding they have approached Election Commission showing their willingness to continue the third front.
“We have also approached the Vidhan Sabha Speaker to direct Maheshwar Singh to seek fresh mandate from the electorate as he was elected on HLP ticket and opposed both the Congress and BJP,” Sofat said.