Updated: December 19, 2017 11:36:38 am
Till he left the BJP in the run-up to the 2012 assembly elections, Rajinder Rana used to be known as Prem Kumar Dhumal’s loyalist. On Monday, he became known as the Congress candidate who defeated the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate from Sujanpur by 1,919 votes.
It was a high-stakes battle for the BJP. The constituency is part of Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat, which is represented by Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur. In 2012, after being denied a BJP ticket from Sujanpur, Rana won the seat as an independent candidate. He later extended support to the outgoing Congress government led by Virbhadra Singh.
But in 2014, he quit the seat, joined the Congress, and contested the Lok Sabha polls from Hamirpur. He was defeated by Thakur, and his wife lost the Sujanpur assembly bypoll to BJP’s Narinder Thakur.
But Rana continued to nurture the seat, taking up causes for war widows and wives of ex-servicemen, who form a large part of the electorate in the area.
“The people of Sujanpur have gone by my work,” said Rana, adding that people voted for “vikas” (development), not “vyakti” (person). “Their (BJP’s) overconfidence led to their defeat,” said Rana. “I am thankful to the voters, particularly the women, for voting for me,” he said. Sujanpur has 34,557 women voters and 32,311 male voters.
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