In the fray to reach HP Assembly, the stage is all set for an interesting battle at Palampur constituency where two electoral debutants are ready to test their fate. While Congress seems to have played safe by fielding Ashish Butail, son of BBL Butail who served as Vidhan Sabha speaker in the last tenure; while BJP choose to experiment with a new face – Indu Goswami who happens to be state BJP Mahila Morcha president.
Why we say Congress played safe in Himachal Elections 2017 for this seat is the fact that it has put its bet on the confident and politically well-established Butail family. Ashish Butail is to give his BJP opponent a tough challenge particularly when she is a new face at one hand and bears a tag of an outsider on the other. Hailing from adjoining Baijnath constituency, her entry into politics and candidature from Palampur was vehemently opposed by not only party workers but also BJP stalwart and sitting MP from Kangra, Shanta Kumar. Even after strong opposition, she managed to secure a ticket but going ahead is going to be tough for her despite many factors which otherwise are in BJP’s favor.
Even when PM Modi ensured that party cadre are with her and it is expected that he might address a rally in her favor, but the former BJP MLA and Praveen Sharma, a local, in fray may benefit Ashish Butail directly. The former BJP MLA is a close ally of Shanta Kumar and the stance of former chief minister will surely make a big difference as Palampur is his hometown. While the triangular contest seems to favor Ashish Butail as of now and he will not leave any stone unturned to take the political legacy of his family to next level.
Even when his father served as Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Ashish might fall prey to opposition questioning congress for promoting dynastic politics and anti-incumbency factor. In addition to this, the failure of BBL Butail to get the Municipal Corporation status for Palampur and delay in constructing multi-storeyed parking lot could land congress candidate in unchartered water. Let’s wait for the time to travel by its speed and keep our fingers crossed to see which ways the wind blows.