Congress finds itself in full swing after wooing Kanhya Kumar as the party’s leading activist for sub-picks in Himachal Pradesh, and may skip its plan to host Punjab PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and other activists for the impending qualifiers in the state.

With the exception of former Union Minister Anand Sharma, who hails from Shimla and happens to be a member of the Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh, the party has made the decision to rely on local activists to the stars – Mukesh Agnihotri, who is also the leader of the opposition, Asha Kumari, a six-time Dalhousie legislator, ex-ministers and other ministers .

The Mandi parliamentary constituency by-election, in which former President Virpadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh of the Congress will compete against Brigadier-General Khushal Thakur of the BJP, a veteran of the Kargil war, is scheduled to take place on October 30.

On the same day, three council seats – Gopal-Kutkhai, Fatehpur and Arki in Shimla, Kangra and Solan districts respectively – will elect new legislators in the sub-districts.

The sub-shots are seen as a ‘semi-final’ ahead of next year’s General Assembly elections, crucial to Prime Minister Jay Ram Thakur of the BJP. The prime minister has hardened his attack on Congress – the party that claims to be facing total elimination.

“After the demise of the party fan Virpadra Singh, there is a grim battle going on in the Congress. They are unable to decide on their real agenda for the state or who their leader will be. Hence, they have chosen people like Kanhaiya Kumar to get votes for them,” Thakur said at a rally in Reckong. Peo at Kinnaur: “You all know who Kanhaiya Kumar was and what he was doing at JNU.

Kennor is part of the Mandeville Parliamentary Constituency and Thacker’s main district. That’s why he chose camp in Mandi to ensure the party’s victory. The Congress is relying on a vote of sympathy, reminding voters how Virpadra Singh has made a huge impact on people’s lives through his balanced approach to development, improving the lives of the poor.

Evoking Virpadra Singh and his legacy in Mandi – a seat he won four times – Congress has made anti-employment, price hikes and unemployment big exploratory issues.

However, Thakur said the BJP is standing on a strong footing and will win the four seats as no one was listening to what the Congress had to say.

“Our party has not brought in any outsiders to campaign as superstars. They are our ministers, MLAs and me. Congress, which cannot stand on its own two feet, trusts people booked for anti-national activities.”

The BJP, towards the end of its election campaign – which will end on October 27 (after being cut off one day by the European Commission) – has hardened its attack on Congress. For this purpose, it has brought in Shanta Kumar and Kabara Prem Kumar Dumal, both former Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh, to campaign. Union Minister for Media and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur is also on an extensive tour and will conclude his election campaign in Gopal Kotkhai.

It is the seat where the BJP refused to get an entry ticket to Chetan Pragata, son of former minister Narinder Pragata, arguing that it does not encourage dynasty politics. Bragta rebelled and, having decided to run as an independent candidate, poses stiff competition to Neelam Sarik of the BJP. Congress candidate Rohit Thakur, grandson of former Congress party CM Thakur Ram Lal, also made significant gains. Thus, the party chose to send Anurag Thakur to the constituency to boost the BJP’s chances.

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