Will it be Shanta vs Congress, again in Kangra parliament constituency
Author(s): Arvind SharmaDharamshala, January 22, 2019: Kangra is the most populous and the oldest district of Himachal Pradesh. According to the 2011 census Kangra district has a population of 1,507,223, whereas Himachal Pradesh has a...
Dharamshala, January 22, 2019: Kangra is the most populous and the oldest district of Himachal Pradesh. According to the 2011 census Kangra district has a population of 1,507,223, whereas Himachal Pradesh has a total population of 6,864,602. Kangra became a district of British India in 1846 with Dharamshala as its administrative headquarters. Initially this district included the present-day districts of Kangra, Hamirpur, Kullu, and Lahul & Spiti of the then Punjab state. In 1966, the district was included in Himachal. Kangra is always considered as the trend setter of the state for the Lok Sabha elections.
Out of the 20 MPs it has given to the country, Congress has won the seat 13 times and its candidate Hem Raj won the seat 4 times. The other MP who was also remain victorious for four times is the sitting MP of BJP Shanta Kumar. Kumar won this seat in 1989, 1998, 1999 and 2014. Former CM Himachal and former Union Minister Shanta Kumar was also elected as MP Rajya Sabha in 2008.
Though Congress won Kangra parliamentary seat 13 times out of 20, it has only succeeded just twice in the past 8 elections, as Sat Mahajan won it in 1996 and Chander Kumar in 2004.
Again in 2019 general elections a new face from Congress is expected because Chander Kumar has lost the last two elections from this constituency. Race for Congress ticket from Kangra parliamentary constituencies has begun. Two ex ministers of the state and senior Congress leaders are the front runners. Supporters of both former ministers GS Bali and Sudhir Sharma have been raising the name of their respective leader for Congress ticket. Harsh Mahajan and Asha Kumari are other names for the seat, both of them belongs to Chamba district. Four assembly constituencies of Chamba district namely Churah, Chamba, Dalhousie and Bhattiyat are the part of Kangra parliament constituency, other 13 assembly constituencies are of Kangra District.
Whereas BJP is expected to field its 84 year old, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and a former Union Minister in Government of India Shanta Kumar. Shanta Kumar won last election defeating Chander Kumar of Congress and sitting MP Rajan Sushant(who defected BJP to fought the seat on AAP ticket ). Earlier in 2009 Dr Rajan Sushant BJP defeated Chander Kumar Congress by just around 20,000 votes. In BJP there are few other names, who are also in the list of ticket seekers. To mention few are Trilok Kapoor, national vice president of the ST Morcha of the BJP, former minister Ravinder Ravi and senior woman BJP leader and former chairperson of state women commission, Indu Goswami. However, a majority of party leaders believe that veteran party leader Shanta Kumar, who is sitting BJP MP from Kangra, would be the best bet, despite his age.
BJP won all four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal in 2014.