Triangular contest in Congress bastion Fatehpur

The Congress bastion Fatehpur  of the Kangra district locked in triangular contest between INC candidate Bhawani Singh Pathania, BJP’s  Baldev Thakur and BJP rebel, former two time MLA, former Minister and former member of Parliament Rajan Shushant is also in fray as an Independent candidate.
 Congress candidate Bhawani Singh Pathania, son of former MLA and Minister Sujan Singh Pathania is no-voice  in the politics is relying solely upon  sympathy of votes after demise of his father who was
Political affiliation of late  Sujan Singh Pathania was a staunch loyalist of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, at the behest of Virbhadra Singh, his supporters used to vote in Pathania’s bag for last three Assembly Election.  
But this time there is neither Pathania nor Virbhadra Singh, Congress party is hoping to garner sympathy votes after the death of these two leaders and is also trying in this direction.
It is first time when Congress is campaigning in the absence of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh having no mascot to allure the voters however sympathy votes for Mr Singh and Sujan Singh Pathania and humble and clean image of Bhawani Singh Pathania slightly give edge to retain the bastion.
Congress candidate Bhawani Singh Pathania stating in the campaign that people have special regards for both Virbhadra Singh and his father Sujan Singh Pathania, the voters of Fatehpur have to make choice by voting in his favor as the Congress candidate to fill the Political void  created in constituency.
 It is not that all is well in Congress. On giving party ticket to Bhavani Singh Pathania, local Congress leaders had expressed displeasure that the Congress party was giving ticket to Sujan Singh Pathania for the last three decades and now after his death, his son has been given ticket. But the Congress somehow managed these local leaders but party insiders say that they may do some damage.
BJP campaign being run by long queues of dissatisfied local leaders and two ministers of Jai Ram Thakur government are seen trying  impact in the by-election however delay in opening of FCI paddy procurement centers at three places in the Fathepur mand region and prevailing angers among ryots is not in favor of ruling party.
It was unexpected move by ruling BJP to fielded its last time rebel Baldev Thakur by not giving ticket to its strong contender Kripal Parmar.
 Many disgruntled leaders and workers are not campaigning with full enthusiasm in favor of the BJP candidate after Kripal Parmar was not given ticket.
BJP candidate Baldev Thakur is contesting the Election on the agenda of lack development in the constituency as there is no MLA in this constituency for a long time as the former MLA Pathania was ill for a long time and the by poll was delayed after his death. 
In such a situation if he would elected by the people there will be chance of speeding in development works, which virtually came to a standstill.
There  is a BJP government in the state and people know that if there would be ruling MLA, some development works may move ahead.
The allotment of tickets caused bickering among party local unit leading to resentment in BJP cadre over not giving ticket to Kripal Parmar however now Baldev Thakur claimed that the party is one here. 
He counter the argument Fatehpur being Congress bastion for 20 yrs bt stating  that there is also an anti-incumbency wave against the Congress People also want to rid of dynastic politics.
Major hurdle for ruling candidate is another contestant of similar right wing ideology Rajan Sushant is also in the fray.
 Former BJP MP and RSS’s third year activist and flamboyant leader, had installed a statue of Sujan Singh Pathania in his constituency in April this year itself, showing sympathy on his death being sitting MLA.
 Mr. Sushant had hoped that by doing so he would get sympathy votes in the by-elections to be held here, but the election could not be held on time and the election got delayed.
 Bhawani Pathania says that this strategy of Rajan Sushant would not work because people understand his politics. He said that idol installed by him is without hand more over Rajan’s inauguration plaque is bigger than the idol. 
 Congress President Kuldeep Singh Rathore said that earlier Rajan Sushant used to contest against Sujan Singh Pathania but after his death he is installing his statue, so why would people vote for him.
During 2017 assembly elections, BJP candidate Kripal Parmar got 18962 votes, while BJP rebel Baldev Thakur got 13090 votes and Rajan Sushant got 6205 votes as an independent. 
 As BJP votes got split among three candidates and Congress candidate Sujan Singh Pathania won the seat.
  The same thing happened in the 2012 assembly elections as well.  At that time also the votes of BJP were divided.
 Unlike Congress candidate Bhawani Pathania, Baldev Thakur also remarked that independent candidate Rajan Sushant has no influence in the region and the contest is between Congress and BJP candidates.
 On the other hand, independent candidate and former RSS worker Rajan Sushant is continuously campaigning on local issues and is attacking the BJP government as well as the Congress.  
 He had already announced that he would not take his pension till the government employees wouldn’t announce to restore old pension scheme.  
Known for his movements and agitations, Sushant is hopeful that this time people would trust him and he will win this seat. 
 In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sushant has the state convener of the Aam Aadmi Party and contested on an AAP ticket. Being the staunch rightwinger AAP didn’t accommodate him for long time as party didn’t become third alternate in the hill state.

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