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With eye on bypolls, Himachal BJP courts Dhumal to boost chances

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur met former Dhumal on Sunday evening at his residence at Sameerpur. The unscheduled meeting during the CM’s visit to Hamirpur is being seen as indicative of the fact that Dhumal may have some active role in the state politics

Shimla |
April 20, 2021 9:46:20 am
Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal

Written by Om Prakash Thakur

After losing two out of four municipal corporations that went to polls earlier this month, the Himachal Pradesh BJP is now courting senior party leader and former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal to help improve the party’s chances in the upcoming Fatehpur Vidhan Sabha and Mandi Lok Sabha bypolls in the state.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur met former Dhumal on Sunday evening at his residence at Sameerpur. The unscheduled meeting during the CM’s visit to Hamirpur is being seen as indicative of the fact that Dhumal may have some active role in the state politics. The former CM had already become active in Hamirpur after a meeting with state BJP in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna two month ago.

After these bypolls, the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections are next and sources said that state BJP feels the need of a mass leader like Dhumal.  Dhumal had lost his seat in the 2017 elections and he was sidelined after that for three and half years. After winning 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP continuously won all elections in the state and Dhumal was the main face in the campaign till 2017 Vidhan Sabha poll. But after losing his seat from Sujanpur Vidhan Sabha constituency the rival group did everything to keep him away from mainstream politics and Dhumal limited himself only to Sameerpur.

But the defeat in two municipal corporations out of four this month has come as a big jolt to CM Thakur and state BJP president Suresh Kashyap.

BJP lost the Solan and Palampur municipal corporations elections. Congress won in Palampur with a thumping majority and Solan with simple majority. BJP won Mandi municipal corporation on its own and managed to elect the party mayor with the help of an Independent councillor in Dharamshala MC. independent councilor  support.

Dhumal had not campaigned for BJP candidates in municipal areas. Asked if Dhumal had refused to campaign, state BJP president Suresh Kashyap said: “Aisa nahin hai….sab lage the. Hum peechhe rah gaye.”

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