exercise to help independents

The pre-result survey released after the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections is forecasting a tough fight between the ruling BJP and the Congress.

At the same time, some independent candidates have claimed that they are being approached by both the main parties. A party needs the support of at least 35 MLAs to form the government in Himachal Pradesh, but the Congress and the BJP may face a challenge in achieving the magic number, according to survey predictions released on Monday.

However, the counting of votes will take place on December 8. In the surveys, the BJP has been predicted to get 24 to 41 seats while the Congress is expected to get 20 to 40 seats. With the contest being close, the role of independents will be crucial and some of them have claimed that the two parties are in constant touch with them.

KL Thakur and Manohar Dhiman, who have entered the fray as independents in rebellion after being denied tickets from the BJP, said both the parties have approached them but they will reveal their cards after the results are officially declared. Another independent candidate Ram Singh said he was not a rebel but a people’s candidate and would decide whom to support after the results are out on December 8.

It is notable that a total of 91 independents are trying their luck in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, out of which about two dozen are rebel candidates. These candidates stood as independent candidates after not getting tickets from the parties and their votes are likely to be deducted. Political parties, however, are focusing on candidates who have a higher chance of winning. Both the BJP and the Congress are trying to bring more members into their fold, if needed, to prove their majority.

N Thakur (Nalagarh), Manohar Dhiman (Indora), Ram Singh (Kullu), Raju (Arki), Hoshiar Singh (Dehra), Indu Verma (Theog) and Sanjay Parashar (Jaswan Pragpur) are among the independents who have a chance of winning. There is a possibility. However, publicly both the parties are claiming to have a clear majority.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that we will get a clear majority and will form the government. Independents are welcome if they want to join the government, rest of the independent candidates are in touch as per normal procedure. At the same time, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri claimed that the Congress would get a majority. He said that the party is in touch with the independent candidates.

It is noteworthy that in many previous elections also independent MLAs had played an important role. In 1982, the Congress won 31 seats in the 68-member assembly and formed the government with the help of independents. In the said election, BJP and Janata Dal had won 29 and two seats respectively and six seats were won by independents.


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