Shimla urban and Theog seats, ticket: Anand Sharma faction also stakes claim

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Photo used for indicative purpose only
Shimla, August 31
Former Congress state President Kuldeep Singh Rathore and Former councillor Anand Kaushal staked their claims for party tickets from Shimla urban and Theog Assembly constituency respectively. The two applied in HPCC headquarter here on Wednesday.
Hereafter there is a stir among the supporters of Sukhu and close friends of Holy lodge(residence of late Virbhadra Singh) over application of tickets by Rathore and Kaushal who has been associated with Congress for a long time and are close associates of former Union Minister Anand Sharma.
Interestingly both belong to Anand Sharma camp, who himself is being alienated by AICC being signatory of Group 23.
Rathore was recently replaced as PCC Chief by AICC, appointing Mandi Lok Sabha MP Pratibha Singh.
AICC has decided that it would allow pitching only one member of a family in Assembly or Lok Sabha Election.The move is a bid to end dynastic politics. Though in case of late CMs family, along with his wife  Pratibha Singh, even son Vikramaditya Singh is a MLA of Congress from Rural Shimla.
Rathore had earlier announced to contest assembly election from Theog however AICC and PCC, recently offered parrty ticket to BJP rebel and Zila Parishad member Indu Verma who is widow of BJP leader late Rakesh Verma from Theog. This perhaps has forced Rathore to apply for ticket from Theog against the wishes of Pratibha Singh and her son Vikramaditya Singh. Rathore is considered close to Anand Sharma camp but he never contested any polls, and remained party state general secretary for twenty years and also held the party PCC post.  Rathore is novice to electoral politics applied on plain paper. Earlier, HPCC had invited applications from all party leaders who are aspirant for ticket from Congress party.
Meanwhile Anand Kauhsal who is currently Shimla district party vice president is considered mass leader as has always remained among people in their bad/ good days. Kaushal’s brother, and wife are members of ward from Shimla Municipal Corporation since last thirty years.
Beside Kaushal, Naresh Chauhan HPCC spokesperson and Shimla Urban party president Jitender Chaudhary and Harish Janartha are also aspirants for ticket from Shimla urban and Chaudhary also applied for ticket. Chaudhary also is considered close to Anand Sharma. However Anand Kaushal who belongs to Degal of Nalagarh area may be strong choice if BJP and CPM again field Suresh Bhardwaj and Sanjay Chauhan.
The dominant voters of Shimla belong to Upper region of Shimla district however if votes of upper Shimla get divided among two or three upper Shimla leaders the margin of victory may fall in favor of non-upper Shimla leaders. However there is also a speculation that if CPI(M) fields former deputy mayor Tikender Singh Panwar from Shimla urban then it may balance the fight.
Moreover, Rathore’s claim from Shimla Gramin may lead to a inparty rift between Vikramditya Singh and Rathore. Wherein on the other hand the BJP may consider pitching ABVP leader and chairman of Kailash Federation Ravi Mehta from Gramin who is already on the ground.
However, it is too early to speculate who would be in contest from where, but Congress has decided to field Indu Verma from Theog against incumbent CPM Legislator Rakesh Singha who is considered more stronger due to being the tall left leader and his strong presence among the voters to fight for various public demands/causes,  could deliver to some extent. Here, BJP is still in search of new face as it got a major blow after switching over of Indu Verma to Congress recently.

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