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