Anurag steals the show; CM, Dhumal stand by him
Shimla: Putting-up a show of strength and braving summer heat, three-time MP Anurag Thakur on Friday filed his nomination papers with his father and two-time former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal standing by him, along with Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
Top BJP leadership including state BJP president Satpal Satti and party senior Shanta Kumar, besides a host of cabinet ministers and party MLAs, joined an impressive road-show that drew hundreds of supporters from the constituency and state.
At the poll rally before the nomination, the Chief Minister predicted that BJP will be sweeping the poll on all four seats, and there will be a new record at Hamirpur when Anurag Thakur bats for the four-wicket, and wins the match with 'highest score' in the series. He ridiculed the Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his elusive dreams to became country's prime minister when it's known to everyone that there is no match to Modi 's leadership.
"People of the country have made up their mind that nation needs a strong leader, not those who could not even-up a suitable candidate against Modi even as Priyanka Gandhi 's name was being speculated, and Rahul Gandhi did not decide for her," said Dhumal.
Stakes are very high for Anurag Thakur in Hamirpur—a seat which his father had won thrice before him. In fact, Congress had not been able to win the seat since 1998.
Though Anurag has advantages as this being his strongest fortress he has to avenge the defeat of his father Prem Kumar Dhumal at Sujanpur – also part Hamirpur constituency, where Dhumal lost his chance to become Chief Minister following his defeat to the Congress candidate Rajendra Rana.
Anurag Thakur is former BCCI president and had made a landmark contribution to Himachal Pradesh by building a world-class cricket stadium at Dharamshala during his term as Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA).
Only Wednesday, his Congress rival Ram Lal Thakur had also filed his nomination demonstrating the Congress unity though former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh trained his guns only at the Congress leaders like former PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu, and also took a jibe at former union minister Anand Sharma and party candidate Ram Lal Thakur.
The Congress 's charge against Anurag Thakur relates to his 'disconnect' with the constituency to counter this Anurag Thakur has chosen to use social media to play video clips of his speeches in the Parliament about issues he had raised. He also gave details of his public outreach programmes in the areas including a mobile hospital initiative.
The Congress is also targeting him on his BCCI term. "We will definitely ask him why he was removed by the Supreme court from the BCCI's post," says Congress candidate Ram Lal Thakur.
In the poll heat, the Congress claims to have a prime catch -- a three-time former BJP MP Suresh Chandel to give a boost to its campaign in Hamirpur. Chandel joined the Congress some days back. He was earlier state BJP president and looking for his political rehabilitation since been sidelined by the party.