Congress candidate RS Bali is hoping for a wave of sympathy in the Nagrota State Assembly constituency following the death of his father GS Bali, a prominent Congress leader from Kangra district.
The Congress fielded RS Bali, AICC secretary, from the constituency his father represented four times in a row from 1998 to 2012. However, in the 2017 Assembly elections, GS Bali lost to his own protégé Arun Kumar, who contested as a BJP candidate.
Arun Kumar earned the title of giant slayer for defeating GS Bali. However, he remains in the shadow of GS Bali, who has brought many projects to Nagrota, including Tanda medical college, Rajiv Gandhi government engineering college and many other educational institutions. Bali died last year.
BJP has once again fielded Arun Kumar against Congress candidate RS Bali. Arun Kumar presents himself as a commoner against the rich and powerful Balinese family of Nagrota. On the other hand, RS Bali is seeking votes in the name of the development works carried out by his father in Nagrota Bagwan and promises to continue these works.
In the Kangra constituency, the BJP is relying on the personal vote bank of Pawan Kajal, who has joined the party recently. Kajal, a former irrigation and public health contractor, had contested the 2012 elections as an Independent candidate and won the seat. Under the influence of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, he joined the Congress. He contested the 2017 elections on a Congress ticket and again won the seat. Kajal has great influence over some voters in the Gaggal area of the constituency.
However, this time, he faced opposition within the BJP. Many Kangra BJP leaders, including former MLA Sanjay Chaudhary, openly opposed Kajal’s entry into the party and allotment of tickets to her. Zila Parishad member Kulbash Chaudhary has filed his nomination as an Independent candidate.
The Congress has fielded former MLA Surinder Kaku from Kangra. He relies on the support of government employees.
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