In Himachal Pradesh, it’s a battle of supremacy between two political archrivals — Virbhadra Singh and Prem Kumar Dhumal — in the Parliamentary elections where development and corruption have been pushed to the background as personal attacks dominate.
With Mr. Virbhadra Singh and Mr. Dhumal being at the State’s helm alternately for over 20 years, the State politics revolves around personal issues of both the leaders, say political observers.The former is the Congress veteran and the latter belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
In this election the spotlight has turned to the Hamirpur and Mandi seats from where Mr. Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur and Mr. Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh, respectively, are again in the fray.
Both are two-time MPs, but Mr. Thakur, who is also president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), is trying to hit a ‘hat-trick’. A political observer said a trend has been seen in the State politics of registering criminal cases against each other. When one is in the saddle, he registers a case against the opponent.
This time Mr. Virbhadra Singh, who is the Chief Minister for his record sixth stint, got sanction just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections to initiate criminal proceedings against Leader of Opposition Mr. Dhumal in alleged wrongdoings in the allotment of land to the HPCA during his regime.