Election 2017

Barsar is not easy going for sitting MLA

November 26, 2017 11:50 AM

Punjab News Express/Y.S.Rana
BARSAR (HP):  Bumpy roads, power cuts, irregular water supply, poor health services, GST or demonetization did not figure in the heated political discussions at roadside tea stalls. Here, the common man in the street, who has done the day’s work, sits to work out caste equations and clout of the individual candidates—Baldev Sharma (BJP) and ID Lakhanpal (Congress).  They seem to turning this pass time into a fine art, the so-called “illiterate voters” work out caste and sub-caste factors, local influences and give you a fair idea of who would get the seat.

While the decisive battle in the 68 seats spread over 12 districts that went to polls on November 9 remained between the ‘Lotus’ and ‘Hand’ as the locals put it, ‘Haathi’ has also made its presence felt.  if ‘Haathi’ gains weight here it would be at the cost of the Congress and political mileage to Baldev Sharma.

It is said all ‘politics is local’ and each region has their own political dynamics. Barsar constituency is no exception. While the BJP and the Congress here once again face to face.                        

“When the voting closes on November 9, you do not want to say to yourself. Here is something I did not do,” said Prem Kumar Dhumal, chief ministerial candidate and added they worked hard and that would pay. He said that it would be 5-0 in favour of BJP in the district Hamirpur. Congressmen here did not claim such win for the party.   

Is Barsar, one of the five Assembly constituencies in district Hamirpur ready to deliver next term for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on December 18? The answer is not as simple as the question.  The present political predictions in district Hamirpur is favourable to BJP.  While the planets may be seemed align for BJP, the bad news for ID Lakhanpal.   

In assembly election, electoral win is based on especially caste and outweigh the negative ones.  Though the fight in Barsar constituency is between Baldev Sharma (BJP) and ID Lakhanpal (Congress) yet Saroti Devi (BSP); Sita Ram Bhardwaj (Independent) and Vinod Thakur (LGP) are also in the fray.  

Hans Raj, a shopkeeper of Barsar said that Baldev Sharma has succeeded to regain his lost ground and every possibility he may tilt the scale in his favour. He further revealed that two factors—majority of Brahmins and women voters may sure Baldev Sharma’s win.  Thus, for the sitting Congress MLA it may not an easy go, added another shopkeeper.     

Roshan Lal, a retired teacher while talking to HTW admitted that in assembly elections, each electoral win was based on a combination of several factors for which positive determinants outweigh the negative ones. Whatever may be in state election, competiveness of Baldev Sharma and Lakhanpal was more balanced than expected with regard to the popular perception.   

In 2012, assembly election, ID Lakhanpal of the Congress got 51.02 per cent votes against 45.81 percent secured by Baldev Sharma defeating him by 2658 votes. Again two political foes are face to face in the constituency.  In 2007, Baldev Sharma defeated his nearest Congress candidate Vidya Zar by a margin of 15,564 votes and got 54 per cent votes.  

Majority of the people critical of I.D Lakhanpal of Congress and tagged him a ‘migratory bird’ who was only seen during election’s time otherwise he spent his most of the time in Shimla. This also coupled with allegations of non-performance in the constituency. .    

Lakhanpal claimed to have spent lakhs of rupees on various development works in the constituency. Yet, he has failed to impress the voters that voted him to power last election. On the other hand, BJP candidate says that most of the development projects in the area have been carried out by him during his tenure as MLA. Mr Sharma also claimed that he upgraded a number of schools in the constituency besides laying link roads and water supply. Also, there is visible discontent among supporters of the Congress and riddled with factionalism.

All this, of course, discounts ID Lakhanpal’s chronicled fighting spirit. This time, changing social dynamics in this segment is equally worrisome for him. It was seen in the rising anxiety amongst the close circle of local congressmen due to the rising graph of Baldev Sharma.  

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