Politics is a forbidden fruit for ‘we the people’ for it changes colors faster and more often than we could even judge and anticipate for that matter. In some of the most unpredictable events that took place during the Himachal Elections 2017 is a nonagenarian vacating her assembly seat to an octogenarian who once happened to be her biggest political adversary. The decision seems a wise one for the former, but how will it go for the latter remains to be seen.
Well, the reference here, of course, is to Vidya Stokes and Virbhadra Singh. The announcement come from Virbhadra Singh about contesting election from Theog assembly – a stronghold of Congress party and represented six times by eminent party leader; more popularly known as Madam Stokes. With this, the speculations about incumbent chief minister, Virbhadra Singh’s constituency to contest assembly elections this time were put to rest. Virbahdra Singh is vacating Shimla Rural he won last time to launch his son, Vikramaditya Singh, formally into the politics.
Singh is to file the nomination from Theog on October 20, 2017 where Vidya Stokes and other eminent party leaders will accompany him. From there, the chief ministerial candidate from congress will start the election campaign. The announcement has jolted political equation completely with Singh taking the plunge from Theog. The fact worth noticing here is Theog is not new to Singh as he claims to have travelled to every nook and corner of the constituency and represented this areas as a part of his parliamentary constituency when he served as an MP from Mahasoo.
Now that being said, let’s talk about the political equation. His adversary from Theog will be Rakesh Verma who represented this region three times in the past. One of the biggest clouts of his political career is defeating Vidya Stokes, who was one of the hot and forefront runners for the chief ministerial candidate at that time. Rakesh Verma has served the constituency thrice and has a stronghold. Even as per the records, he has fared quite well during his three terms.
The battle of Theog is going to be tough and when I say though, I literally mean every bit it. The reason being, Rakesh Verma knows the ins and outs of politics in the area, whereas Virbhadra Singh can be considered new, as compared to his adversary. However, we should not forget that Rakesh Verma is facing one of the most successful politicians of the state this time. Winning Theog constituency won’t be that easy for Congress stalwart either keeping in mind the stronghold of Verma that even forced the veteran Vidya Stokes to left Theog in a fear to lose seat to him and fight from then Kotgarh-Kumarsen in 2003.
On the top of this, BJP will do every little bit possible at its end to win Theog no matter what. To ensure this, top party leaders and union ministers is to campaign in Theog segment. With Modi charisma, Virbhadra Singh battling with corruption charges, rising popularity of Rakesh Verma and keeping in mind the tendency of electorate in Himachal, it remains to be seen whether time favors Rakesh Verma this time or Mr. Singh still remains insurmountable.