Fa­thers, sons, vet­er­ans, ris­ing stars: Key names in Hi­machal Pradesh elec­tions

The Northlines - - NATION -

Hi­machal Pradesh will vote in as­sem­bly elec­tions on Novem­ber 9. The Con­gress will fight the elec­tions to re­tain one of the six states it’s in power while the BJP looks to snatch it and prove that its poli­cies are pop­u­lar. Here are per­son­al­i­ties who will mat­ter in the elec­tions.

Chief min­is­ter Virb­hadra Singh and his son Vikra­ma­ditya Singh (Con­gress)

Virb­hadra Singh, a po­lit­i­cal warhorse, is a six-term chief min­is­ter who en­tered pol­i­tics in 1962 when he won the Mandi Lok Sabha seat.

Virb­hadra, 83, first be­came Hi­machal Pradesh chief min­is­ter in 1983. In Delhi, he han­dled Union min­istries like tourism, civil avi­a­tion, mi­cro in­dus­tries and steel. Virb­hadra, who is now the sec­ond long­est serv­ing chief min­is­ter of the hill-state af­ter Yash­want Singh Par­mar, faces a tough elec­tion but he has a record for emerg­ing stronger ev­ery time he is in trou­ble. How­ever, his im­age has hurt be­cause of al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion and crimes in the state like the rape and mur­der of a 16-year old school stu­dent near Shimla. Virb­hadra and his wife were in Au­gust 2009 charged un­der the Preven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act for al­legedly breach­ing rules when he was the chief min­is­ter. The Cen­tral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion filed a case against Singh and his fam­ily in 2015 for own­ing as­sets “dis­pro­por­tion­ate to his known sources of in­come” when he was the Union min­is­ter between 2009 and 2011. Singh has to counter the BJP’S cam­paign against him while fight­ing de­trac­tors within the Con­gress party, like state party chief Sukhvin­der Singh Sukhu. His son Vikra­ma­ditya Singh, 27, is likely to con­test the up­com­ing polls. Vikra­madiya put on the fam­ily man­tle in 2012 when he suc­cess­fully con­tested elec­tion for pres­i­dent of state Youth Con­gress. His elec­tion, how­ever, was can­celled af­ter the ri­val fac­tion lodged a com­plaint of mis­use of power. Vikra­ma­ditya was again elected Youth Con­gress chief in 2013. Virb­hadra Singh has de­clared that Vikra­ma­ditya will con­test the polls from Shimla (ru­ral), the as­sem­bly seat the chief min­is­ter rep­re­sents.

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