Dharamshala by-poll: Amid Congress mum, Gaddi community pushes for ticket - Hindustan Times
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Dharamshala by-poll: Amid Congress mum, Gaddi community pushes for ticket

By, Dharamshala
May 08, 2024 05:58 AM IST

Congress is yet to announce its candidate for Dharamshala, even though the party has fielded its candidate in other five constituencies where by-polls will be held on June 1

As the wait for the announcement of the Congress candidate for Dharamshala by-poll continues, the dominant Gaddi community is vying for the ticket for leader of their community.

He also outlined that if the Congress party denies us the ticket, then our community can also field an independent candidate. (HT Photo)
He also outlined that if the Congress party denies us the ticket, then our community can also field an independent candidate. (HT Photo)

Congress is yet to announce its candidate for Dharamshala, even though the party has fielded its candidate in other five constituencies where by-polls will be held on June 1.

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The Gaddi community, which holds sway in the region, have clearly shown their interest in getting a ticket for its leader. They said that they are doubtful about their support to Congress if the party ignored the community.

During a press conference in Dharamshala on Tuesday, Hans Raj, a leader of the Gaddi community, stated, “In the Dharamshala assembly constituency, around 35% of voters belong to the Gaddi community. We urge the Congress party to consider any party worker from our community whom they believe is capable of winning the election and grant them the ticket. Several aspirants from our community have applied for the ticket. Allocating the ticket to our community could also yield benefits for the party in the Lok Sabha elections.”

He also outlined that if the Congress party denies us the ticket, then our community can also field an independent candidate.

According to Gaddi leaders, there are around 25 revenue villages in the Dharamshala assembly constituency where 100% of voters are from the Gaddi community.

BJP has fielded Sudhir Sharma, who was among six Congress legislators who cross-voted in favour of the BJP candidate during the tumultuous February Rajya Sabha polls. These Congress legislators were disqualified later for violating the party whip in a subsequent motion, following which they joined the BJP. They all will now contest by-polls on the BJP tickets.

From among the Gaddi community, the names of Manoj Kumar and Vijay Inder Karan are doing rounds for Congress ticket for Dharamshala by-polls.

While BJP has fielded a Gaddi candidate from Dharamshala many times, including Kangra sitting MP Kishan Kapoor, Congress for the first time fielded a Gaddi candidate in 2019.

The name of former BJP leader Rakesh Chaudhary who is from another dominant community – the OBCs, is also doing rounds, along with former Dharamshala MLA Devinder Singh Jaggi.

A senior Congress leader said the ticket aspirants and party workers are waiting for the announcement of the candidate so that campaigning starts as the elections draw near. Meanwhile, Puneet Malhi, secretary-cum-media coordinator of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee said the candidate would be announced soon.

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