( Harsh Mahajan filing nomination for Rajya Sabha election in Shimla)

Making the contest for Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal quite interesting, BJP has fielded Harsha Mahanjan against Congress candidate Abhisehk Manu Singhvi in the ensuing election.

Entry of Harsha Mahajan, a former Cabinet Minister in Virbhadra Singh government and  three times Congress MLA from Chamba, who had defected to BJP before the last Assembly election held in the state in 2022, has created curiosity.

Mahajan, a core committee member of state BJP was one of the working presidents of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee at the time of switching over to BJP and was also considered a right hand man of six times former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The Congress candidate Singhvi looks in a very comfortable position as Congress has strength of 40 MLAs in the house of 68 and backing of three Independent MLAs.

It is also a fact, the nomination of Singhvi for the Rajya seat in Himachal has also created some heart burning among many aspirants since several senior Congress leaders like former Union Minister Anand Sharma, former ministers Kaul Singh Thakur, Ram Lal Thakur, Asha Kumari among others were aspiring to find favour with the Congress High Command.

Though numbers do not favour BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan as BJP has 25 MLAs and would require votes of at least 8 Congress MLAs to win the seat but they are banking on reported factional division within the  Congress MLAs and personal rapport of Harsh Mahajan with many Congress MLAs.

The BJP leaders would try to use the reported dissidence in the Congress to hilt to garner additional votes through Cross Voting.

Former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “It is quite surprising the Congress leadership has nominated an outsider for Rajya Sabha seat ignoring claims of several senior Congress leaders and selected a lawyer who is defending a power company against the Congress government in courts and opposing levying of water cess by the state government to generate additional revenue for the cash strapped state.”

Thakur said, “There is resentment among Congress MLA and I hope they will support the BJP nominee and listen to the voice of their conscience.”

Harsh Mahajan said, “Despite numbers in favour of Congress candidates I am contesting this election to win.”

The Congress leadership is not leaving any chance for poaching of their MLAs by the rival camp and have deputed state Congress in-charge Rajiv Shukla and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to keep the Congress camp intact. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is also working hard to ensure victory of the Congress candidate.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Harsh Mahajan filed their nomination papers on Thursday. The election will be held on February 27.

Sharing is caring!