The Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 will be held on November 9. The BJP will fight against the ruling Congress in the state and it would be a battle of personalities.
Like many states, Himachal too will witness the father-son combination battling it out. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh are in the fray.
Virbhadra Singh is a six term chief minister who entered politics in 1962 by winning the Mandi Lok Sabha seat. The 83 year old leader first became chief minister in 1983. In the Union Ministry he has handled portfolios such as tourism, civil aviation, micro industries and steel.
Singh faces a tough election, but he has a reputation of returning stronger. This time, however there could be a twist to the tale as allegations of corruption have been made against him. Virbhadra and his wife were in August 2009 charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly breaching rules when he was the chief minister. The Central Bureau of Investigation filed a case against Singh and his family in 2015 for owning assets “disproportionate to his known sources of income” when he was the Union minister between 2009 and 2011.
This time his son Vikramaditya is likely to contest the elections. He entered politics in 2012 after he successfully contested election for president of state Youth Congress. His election, however, was cancelled after the rival faction lodged a complaint of misuse of power. Vikramaditya was again elected Youth Congress chief in 2013. Virbhadra Singh has declared that Vikramaditya will contest the polls from Shimla (rural).
Prem Kumar Dhumal has been the face of the BJP since the past 20 years. He was first elected as a Lok Sabha member in 1989. Dhumal, 73, was the party’s surprise pick for the chief minister’s post in 1998 and successfully completed a five-year term.
Dhumal’s high profile son Anurag Thakur is likely to lead the party at a later stage. Thakur was elected as Lok Sabha member in 2008 when he won the by-election for Hamirpur constituency. Thakur, 42, was re-elected to parliament in 2009 and again in 2014.