Himachal Polls: Against Congress' royal card, BJP plays 'aam aadmi' plank
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In the political landscape of Himachal Pradesh, royals still hold a mighty sway on the hearts of voters and trying to cash on it the Congress has fielded a fair share of royals in its list of contestants in the hope of wresting power from BJP.
The saffron brigade on its part is playing the "aam aadmi" plank against Congress' royal challenge considering five out of six scions of erstwhile princely estates in the race for November 4 elections hail from Congress.
Led by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his MP son Anurag Thakur, top BJP leaders have pitched the electoral battle in the state as one between "rajas" and "aam aadmi".
They are heard in rallies slamming the Congress for continued dependence on royals for victory.
"While Prem Kumar Dhumal is the son of a farmer, the Congress needs 'rajas' like Virbhadra Singh to win elections," Anurag Thakur says, addressing people across Himachal and directly attacking State Congress Chief Virbhadra, former ruler of Rampur Bushahr family and ace royal in the fray from Shimla Rural constituency.
The BJP is represented in this newly carved segment by commoner Ishwar Singh Rohal, Chairman of the Shimla Block Development Committee.
While the royals are roughing it out on the roads of Himachal away from the comforts of their palaces ahead of the D-Day, the BJP is seen cautioning voters against "feudal submission" to Congress¿ "princely" candidates led by Virbhadra.
The latter is hoping to create history by beating YS Parmar as the longest serving CM of Himachal. Parmar has been CM for one more year than Virbhadra.
While Shimla Rural has no royal challenger to counter Virbhadra, Kasumpti segment of Shimla district is witnessing the literal "battle royale". Here one erstwhile "king" Congress – Anirudh Singh from Koti royal estate – is pitted against another erstwhile "queen" – Jyoti Sen of Keonthal royalty, an independent.
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