Photo source: Internet
Kasumpti, Nov 7
The contest, which in earlier two polls remained a Koti versus Junga fight, has this time translated into a BJP versus Congress vs CPM. This is a reference from the Kasumpti constituency of Shimla district, where swords are drawn for a triangular fight amongst heavyweight Suresh Bhardwaj of BJP, a diligent Anirudh Singh of Congress and pro-farmer Dr Tanwar of CPM. After BJP fielding Bhardwaj here, the contest has changed from royal versus royal to a three party battle.
Farmers affected by the Lumpy skin disease, water  and road crisis in rural areas and one time settlement of houses in the merged area of 14 wards, are some of the prime issues of the constituency. A total of four candidates Cong, BJP, CPM and AAP are in the fray.
The Congress party and Singh are canvassing for a victory the third time. Anirudh started his political career as a Zila Parishad chairman and belongs to the royal dynasty of Koti.
At the same time, BJP candidate Urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj is trying luck in a new playing field. Changing the outlook of the contest, BJP did not rely upon Junga royal princely estate candidate Joytivijay Sen who was defeated twice in the past.
Though on the onset, it seems that the BJP is doing an experiment to field an outsider because, maybe, it wants to penetrate in the Koti area vote bank, since it already has a strong hold in Junga area. However, political commentators tell us that Bhardwaj, who has been shifted from his parent constituency Shimla Urban, has been more or less pushed for a political exile, as this constituency has never been a Saffron party bastion after 1998. Bhardwaj has remained a three-time MLA and one-time MP (Rajya Sabha) from Shimla, also remained a powerful minister in the current State government. However, before these polls, never had he taken any interest in the politics of this constituency.
Meanwhile, Dr Kuldeep Tanwar, who is in the fray for the third time, is once again banking for victory based on credentials of spearheading most farmer movements from the area.
Dr Tanwar, who resigned from Indian forest services, stepped into public life to serve and take forward farmer issues of the State. He was also called father of state literacy mission. He has been chosen as a leftist candidate from this mostly rural constituency. However, his previous two tourneys in polls haven’t been heartening as could not secure many votes and remained at the number 3 spot. Tanwar is also scion of same dynasty Koti and Mashobra.
A local pradhan from Dublu informed that the fight is between Congress and BJP and they are even in his area. He said that Bhardwaj being a seasoned leader has created a fight and has made the contest anybody’s game.
Another resident of Jaggas village in Junga tehsil, Om Prakash, told us that this time the victory margin for Anirudh will only increase, as none in their village knows Bhardwaj personally. “Therefore we will support all out in favour of the Congress candidate who has always kept a firm connection with constituents,” he added.
Another shopkeeper from the Koti area informed that Anirudh was their royal and they must support him. Moreover, his down-to-earth approach adds to his positive credentials.
Sympathiser of Dr Tanwar, a Ramesh, from Junga informed that though the CPM candidate has remained active spearheading farmer issues, but masses here definitely take into account the royal presence, he added.
BJP supporters, however, urge that Anirudh should not be voted for as he has been given the opportunity two times consecutively. Moreover, he has not done enough for the area, which still remains primitive given the proximity to the capital Shimla. There is also anti-incumbency against Congress candidate in Kasumpti this time, they added. Moreover Cong like the BJP is not fully united in Kasumpti, and even, Anirudh Singh and Pratibha Singh are not on the same page. Party vice president Harsh Mahajan joined BJP may dent Singh.They stated that this time Singh is canvassing without major support from party state star campaigners.
In 2017 Congress got 53.52 pc votes, BJP 30.72 pc and CPI(M) 15.40 pc. The Constituency falls is 14 wards of Shimla MC and 36 panchayats of Mashobra, Junga and Theog Subdivision. There is  a mixed baggage of constituents comprising of urban, migrant workers and rural areas. The constituency is spread in periphery of Shimla town, borders till Sadupul of Solan district, Chail of Solan, Theog and Sunni of Mandi district and Dhami of Shimla Gramin. There are as many as 66915 voters here including, 34440 male and 32278 female and two others.


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