None of the national parties’ rely on Gaddi community candidate after four decades in Dharamsala
Dharamsala (Arvind Sharma) 3/11/22
Dharamsala is the second Capital of Himachal and the second most important city of Himachal after Shimla . It is the administrative headquarters of Kangra district (the most populated district of the state).
Kangra and most of the other hill areas of Punjab were merged with H.P. on 1st November, 1966 and since then it is the major political district of Himachal to form government in Shimla ,as it has 15 MLAs in 68 seat state assembly. Kangra District till date has produced only one CM (Shanta Kumar) but always remained the centre of creating a CM after each assembly election.
Dharamsala is a tourist place of global importance. It is the first Municipal corporation of the state framed after independence in India (Shimla is a pro- independence MC).
Dharamsala is the seat of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, has the most scenic cricket stadium of the world and the busiest airport of the state. It has the assembly building conducting winter sessions here every year.
Thus Dharamsala Assembly seat became the very important seat of the state, which has given ministers also since 1966.
Dharamshala witnessed 13 assembly elections since 1966(after Kangra district became the part of HP), and in it congress won this seat for 25 years and rest by BJP +Janata Party.
The MLAs (Congress or BJP) of Gaddi tribe (living mainly in the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh) dominated this seat for 30 years in the past 55 years . Kishan Kapoor (now a BJP MP) of Gaddi Community won this assembly seat for 22 years, before shifting to Delhi as BJP MP.
(Kishan Kapoor is an Indian politician and a member of Bharatiya Janata Party. He is the sitting Member of parliament, Lok Sabha from Kangra Lok Sabha constituency of Himachal Pradesh. He won the seat by a record margin of votes in the General election 2019. He has won by the margin of 4.77 lakh votes which is the 2nd largest voting percentage at 72.2% all over the country.
In this year’s election fixed for 12 November neither Congress nor BJP gave preference to Gaddi Candidate, which is a rare phenomenon in the past 45 years of politics for the Dharmsala assembly seat of the state.
Congress is relying on its national secretary Sudhir Sharma( an ex Minister of Vir Bhadra’s government) and BJP tried a new face Rakesh Choudhary (ignoring its sitting MLA Vishal Nehria, resulting a rabble gaddi leader (Vipin Nehria, ex state vice president of the BJP ST Morcha) to jump in the election fray from this seat as an independent candidate.
So Dharamsala seat shall be an interest to see the result when none of the national parties rely on a Gaddi candidate after around 42 years.
Dharamsala shall now have six corner contests, where the main fight is expected between Sudhir Sharma of INC and Rakesh Choudhary of BJP. The other candidates in fray are Kulwant Singh Rana of AAP and three independents namely Subhash Chand Shukla, Abhay Kumar Ashok and Vipin Nehria.
There are some long pending major issues of the constituency, which were not being tackled by any party till date, are the setting up of a high court bench in Dharamsala, permanent campus of central university, extension of air strip of Dharamsala airport, completion of smart city projects , interstate bus terminal, international community centre etc. whereas unemployment, lack of parking facility and creation of more tourism avenues are the other major issues.
There are 41469 female and 42359 male voters in this constituency. Voting date is 12 November and result on 8 December.