When many leaders from Dharamshala Assembly constituency are vying for BJP ticket to contest the seat vacated by former Cabinet Minister Krishan Kapoor, after his election as Member of Parliament from Kangra seat in May 2019, cropping of name of former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal as a candidate has surprised many .
Two time former Chief Minister and one of the stalwarts of BJP politics in Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was chief Ministerial face of BJP during the 2017 Assembly election has been lying low after his defeat from his stronghold Sujanpur seat at the hands of Rajinder Rana of Congress , once his protégé.
Though Dhumal was likely to be nominated as Himachal CM at that time but equation changed after his defeat and Jai Ram Thakur was elected the CM.
BJP leadership is still holding consultation to name the candidate but certain block level BJP leaders of Kangra district and a section of media have been pushing Dhumal’s candidature.
Dhumal and BJP leaderships have maintained a complete silence on this issue and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in an informal chat with media persons at Dharmashala said, “I do not know how his name has figured ; it seems figment of a section of media.”
Names of Rajiv Bhardwaj, Indu Goswami, besides others have been doing rounds for the BJP ticket. There are reports Krishan Kapoor, who had represented the seat for long has been lobbying hard for his wife Rekha Kapoor or their son Shashwat Kapoor.
PK Dhumal had contested all his past Assembly and Parliament elections from Hamirpur district and his son Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur is the minister of state for Finance in Modi government.
The main argument which Dhumal backers are trying to sell is “Kangra district BJP unit is a divided house and Dhumal’s candidature would put an end to dissension.”
However political analyst feel, “ His election as an MLA may create factions with in BJP legislature party as Dhumal still wields support of a group of MLAs who would want his return back to power”?
“Though anything is possible in politics but national level policy decision of Prime Minister Narender Modi to retire leaders above 75 years , not to promote family politics by giving power to more than one member of a family go against Dhumal’s candidature and state BJP leadership has already effected a generational shift, ” tells a political analyst .