December 19, 2017 5:40:33 am
Out of 12 first-timers fielded by the Congress, including children of six Congress leaders, only two were able to win the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election. The BJP had fielded eight new faces out of which four won.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s son and Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress president Vikramaditya Singh (28), who won from Shimla (Rural) constituency, was among the two who won from Congress. He won by a margin of 4,880 votes. The constituency was vacated by his Chief Minister father Virbhadra Singh to launch him into state politics.
Another Congress leader B B L Butail’s son, Ashish Butail, who is a first-timer and contested from Palampur, defeated Indu Goswami by a margin of 4,324 votes. Goswami was another first-timer for the BJP. During her campaign she would confidently project herself as a Cabinet minister.
Aditya Vikram Singh, son of former a minister, late Karan Singh who died a few months ago, lost to BJP’s Surender Shourie by a margin of 3240 votes. He was a debutant fielded by Congress from Banjar in Kullu. Vivek Sharma, son of a former Deputy Speaker Ram Dass of the Congress party, could not win from Kutlehar. Champa Thakur, another first-timer and daughter of Congress stalwart and Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, lost to Congress-rebel and now BJP leader Anil Kumar by a margin of over 10,000 votes.
Neeraj Nayyar, another Congress debutant and son of former Congress minister Sagar Chand Nayyar, lost to a BJP first-timer Pawan Nayyar by 1879 votes. Surinder Singh Mankotia, who was contesting his first Assembly election with the backing of CM Virbhadra Singh himself, lost Jaswan-Paragpur to BJP’s Bikram Singh by 1862 votes.
Hari Chand Sharma, another new face of Congress from Manali, lost to BJP’s Govind Singh Thakur by 3005 votes. Paras Ram from Anni lost to a BJP candidate by 5,000 votes. Pawan Kumar and Ajay Solankey, both close aides of PCC president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, were first-timers and lost to BJP by a margin of 9,000 votes and 4,000 votes from Sarkaghat and Nahan, respectively.
An aide of Rahul Gandhi, Deepak Rathore was fielded from Theog for his first election after vetran Congress leader Vidya Stokes papers were rejected. He lost to a CPM candidate. A BJP first-timer, D S Thakur lost to Congress stalwart Asha Kumari from Dalhousie. Among other BJP debutants, Reeta Dhiman won from Indora, Surendra Shourie won from Banjar, Kamlesh Kumari won from Bhoranj, Subhas Thakur, a confidant of JP Nadda, won from Bilaspur. BJP first-timer Vijay Jyoti Sain from Kasumpti lost to Congress by 9,000 votes and, Shashi Bala from Rohru lost to Congress candidate by a margin of 9,000 votes.
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