As both parties have fielded young first time turks for Dharamshala bye-polls slated to be held on 21st of October Congress party took a day lead. Vijay Inder Karan a youth congress member and in-charge of Kangra-Chamba Parliamentary constituency was declared the official candidate of the Congress. A day after Sudhir Sharma former cabinet Minister and MLA from Dharamshala denied contesting the election the high command finally declared Vijay Inder Karan. Vijay had applied for the congress party ticket and had the strong backing of the Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri. As per the sources within the party, Vijay Inder Karan was considered as G. S Bali group man who is not in good terms with the former legislator Sudhir Sharma. Sources disclose that Mukesh Agnihotri who takes all his leads from a local journalist at Dharamshala on the onfoing political scenario suggested the name of Vijay Karan as a suitable candidate as he belongs to the Gaddi tribe. Political analysts point that Mukesh with this move has killed two birds with one stone by sidelining Sudhir Sharma as who was considered a strong candidate and could have won the bye poll and would have consolidated his position within the congress after his loss in the 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls. Moreover Sudhir if would have won when BJP was in power it could have made him a contender for the top post within the party.
Vijay Karan is the nephew of Former Forest Minister from Bharmour Thakur Singh Bharmouri who was considered close to former Chief Minister Raja Virbhadra Singh. But with the changing political scenario, all the loyalists of Virbhadra Singh camp including Mukesh Agnihotri, Kewal Singh Pathania, Kuldeep Pathania backed Bali supported Vijay Inder Karan. Vijay Karan was inducted in the Youth Congress and made in charge of Kangra-Chamba parliamentary constituency on behest of senior Congress Leader G.S Bali.
As per insiders of the party Vijay Inder Karan once was a close confidant of Sudhir Sharma, but with the passage of time had a lot of differences with the senior leader and had gone to the extent of applying for the party ticket with the blessings of the senior leadership of the state. “By fielding, Vijay Karan from Dharamshala who hails from the Shahpur constituency will bring resentment among the other ticket seekers within the Gaddi Community who had been associated with the party for quite some time”, stated Vikram a local resident. He said it will not be easy for Vijay Karan to contest the election although he has got the Congress ticket. Adding that he is mainly counting on the Gaddi vote bank but with opposition candidate also banking on the same shall be a uphill task. In the recent Loksabha elections, BJP was way ahead of the Congress with a huge margin of 18500 votes. For Vijay Inder Karan it is going to be a tough task to convince the party workers minus Sudhir Sharma to support his candidature he added. A sign of which was evident when this morning he filed nomination without Sudhir Sharma joining the moment.
However with both first timers in the political battlefield fingers remain crossed till final result is declared.