Virb­hadra’s kin switch to BJP

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - NATION - Sau­rabh Chauhan let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

SHIMLA: At a time when he was ready­ing his strate­gists for Hi­machal Pradesh as­sem­bly polls, chief min­is­ter Virb­hadra Singh re­ceived a jolt – his close rel­a­tives switched over to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Just be­fore elec­tion dates were an­nounced for Hi­machal Pradesh, Singh’s brother-in-law Veer Vikram Sen and Sen’s wife Vi­jay Jy­oti Sen joined BJP in pres­ence of party in-charge and Bi­har health min­is­ter Man­gal Pandey.

The scion of the Junga royal fam­ily, Veer Vikram Sen, had re­mained the party’s block Con­gress pres­i­dent for Ka­sumpati seg­ment, ad­join­ing the state cap­i­tal. Dur­ing 2012 as­sem­bly elec­tions, Ka­sumpati as­sem­bly seg­ment saw a blue- blooded elec­toral bat­tle as his wife Vi­jay Jy­oti Sen con­tested in­de­pen­dently against Anirudh Singh, scion of the princely state of Koti. Sen se­cured 6,430 votes, around 18% of to­tal polled.

Veer Vikram Sen re­signed from Con­gress in 2012 when a ticket was de­nied to his wife. His younger brother Prithvi Vikram Sen had ear­lier joined the BJP and is among the ticket as­pi­rants from Ka­sumpati as­sem­bly seg­ment, where the saf­fron party does not have a strong can­di­date to face first-time MLA Anirudh Singh.

Vi­jay Jy­oti Sen’s can­di­da­ture was dis­cussed in the elec­tion panel meet held at Naina Devi on Wed­nes­day.

More than a dozen work­ers joined the party in the pres­ence of Man­gal Pandey, Shimla leg­is­la­tor Suresh Bhard­waj and lo­cal par­lia­men­tar­ian Viren­der Kashyap. Pandey said, “Chief min­is­ter’s rel­a­tives have joined BJP to­day. It shows the con­di­tion of Con­gress. We have not promised ticket to any­one, that is party high com­mand to de­cide but sphere of party is in­creas­ing day by day,” Pandey said.

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