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Assembly by-polls in Himachal on July 10

Election Commission declares by-polls to three Assemblies segments, Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh, vacated due to resignation by three Independent MLAs who have joined BJP.

News Arena Network - Shimla - UPDATED: June 10, 2024, 02:51 AM - 4 mins read

Himachal Pradesh voters.

Assembly by-polls in Himachal on July 10

ECI announced by-polls for 3 Assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh.


A day after the formation of the NDA government at the Centre, the Election Commission of India, today, announced by-polls for 13 Assembly constituencies across different states, including three in Himachal Pradesh for July 10. 

 

These 3 assembly constituencies had fallen vacant after the resignation of three Independent MLAs from the state Assembly. 

 

The gazette notification for these by-polls would be done on June 14, while June 21 is the last date for filing nominations by the candidates, according to a release by the Election Commission of India. The counting of votes will be done on July 13.

 

The three Independents- Hoshiar Singh from Dehra (Kangra district), Ashish Sharma from Hamirpur (Hamirpur district), and KL Thakur from Nalagarh (Solan district)- had resigned on March 23 and joined BJP. Their resignation was however accepted by the Speaker on June 3. 

 

The state recently had by-polls to six Assembly segments, which had fallen vacant after rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified from the state Assembly for defying the party whip on the day of passing the budget in February last. All the six Congress rebels had fought on the BJP ticket, yet only two of them, Sudhir Sharma in Dharamshala and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal in Badsar won. The ruling Congress party was able to retain four seats- Sujanpur, Kutlehar, Gagret, and Lahaul & Spiti. 

 

The strength of the Congress party in the state Assembly with 65 members out of 68 (three seats vacant) at present is 38, while BJP now has 27. Any party needs 35 MLAs for the majority. 

 

Not willing to sit quietly in opposition after losing power in the 2022 Assembly polls, the BJP had allegedly played a game as a part of its ‘Operation Lotus’ in Himachal Pradesh, trying to grab the opportunity of rebellion in Congress during the Rajya Sabha poll on 27 February, which led to the victory of BJP nominee in Congress-ruled state within just 12 months. 

 

The six rebels who cross-voted and were later disqualified for defying the party whip in Vidhan Sabha and three Independents, who too had voted for the BJP nominee, had joined the BJP in March itself. 

 

While BJP’s experiment of declaring Congress rebels as its candidates in by-polls could not pay much, as only two of them could win because of resentment in BJP cadres over importing the candidates straight from Congress. 

 

All eyes are now set on the three Independents and whether they get the BJP ticket or not, as party sources said the BJP may not like to annoy the party cadres for the Independents now. In all these three constituencies, the BJP nominees, former minister Ramesh Dhawala in Dehra, former MLAs Lakhvinder Rana in Nalagarh and Narender Thakur in Hamirpur, had finished third in 2022 polls. 

 

Out of these, the BJP leader in Dehra, Ramesh Dhawala had already given his dissent to the joining of Hoshiar Singh (who won as an Independent in 2022) in BJP. 

 

Himachal Pradesh this time saw a long election campaign, with Lok Sabha and Assembly by-polls scheduled in the last phase here on June 1. The hurried by-polls to the three more Assembly segments would require hard work by the ruling as well as opposition BJP to get hold of the game of numbers in the Assembly.

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