After its victory in UP and Uttarakhand, the BJP is focused on the victory margin at the end of the campaign for the Bhoranj bypoll on April 9. However, the Congress is confident of giving a tough fight to the BJP. The BJP, which is expecting a victory in the Bhoranj bypoll, has mobilised a party machinery. The state Assembly elections are only six months away. The party said there was already a wave of change sweeping the states. The cases against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, including the CBI’s chargesheet filed in a Delhi trial court, has further given a boost to the party’s morale. The chief minister spent two days in the constituency in the second leg of the campaign, which ended on Friday. The has BJP made corruption, nepotism in jobs, mafia raj (mainly transfer mafia) and regional discrimination as its major poll plank.
The seat had fallen vacant after the demise of BJP’s Ishwar Dass Dhiman, a former education minister who had won six elections consecutively in this constituency. The constituency has the highest density of roads in Asia, the credit for which is mostly given to former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, fondly called as sadakon wala mukhya-mantri. To encash on Dhiman’s legacy, the BJP has fielded his son Dr Anil Dhiman who resigned from his government job to step into the shoes of his father.
Addressing the women voters during his campaign on Friday, Dhumal said: “When you go to vote for the bypoll please forget that you are electing Dr Anil Dhiman for the next six months. You are indeed opening a window for the BJP’s return to power in the polls. The writings on the walls are clear. April 9 will mark the end of the mafia raj. Just press the lotus button to take revenge against those who have taken bribes for transfers.”
The BJP also advised the chief minister to take a break from power and face the cases against him and come clean instead of blaming Dhumal, BJP MP Anurag Thakur and Union minister Arun Jaitely for “political vendetta”.
During his poll rallies, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh spoke more about fielding woman candidate Promila, an educated dalit. He also lashed out at the BJP for playing-up the regional card and perpetuating dynasty politics by giving ticket to Dhiman’s son.
Virbhadra reaffirmed his resolve to fight back conspiracy of the BJP leaders to “frame him in baseless, false and fabricated” cases.
The women voters who outnumber the men in this constituency play a crucial role in the polls. The total number of voters at Bhoranj are 73,485 out of which 35,692 are men and 37,843 women. There are 2,234 service votes, including 1,872 men and 362 women. Thus, the total number of votes will be 75,719 out of which 37,514 are men and 38,205 are women.