BJP hopes to maintain its winning streak in Hamirpur by-polls

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Shimla, May 18 (UNI) Hectic electioneering is on for the May 22 Hamirpur parliamentary by-polls in Himachal Pradesh with both the Congress and the BJP leaving no stone unturned to impress the voters, almost an year before the Lok Sabha polls.

While the BJP is hoping to maintain its winning streak in these by-polls after its victory in the last Assembly polls, the Congress is trying to salvage some pride with top leaders of the party holding meetings and rallies at various parts of the state.

The Hamirpur Parliamentary seat was vacated by Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal after he was named the state Chief Minister, earlier this year.

The BJP has fielded Mr Dhumal's son, Anurag Thakur, who is also the president of the HP Cricket Association (HPCA), while the Congress has named former MLA O P Rattan as its candidate for these elections.

Mr Rattan has laid the blame on the BJP for forcing third elections on the electorate since 2004, besides accusing it of promoting family rule by fielding Mr Dhumal's son in the elections.

The BJP, which was campaigning in full steam with the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues and party leaders, has made development its main election plank and has reminded the people of the development the area has seen in the last tenure when it had formed the government in 1998.

However, whatever maybe the outcome of the elections, the Rajput candidates have done well in this constituency winning nine out of 12 elections held since 1967.

The Congress won the seat five times, the BJP six times, while a Janta Party candidate was elected from this constituency once in 1977.

The Parliamentary constituency, which comprises all four Assembly segments of Bilaspur district, five assembly segments each of Una and Hamirpur districts and three segments of Dehra tehsil of Kangra district, has remained a BJP stronghold.

The BJP has won this seat six times since 1989, as against the Congress, which won the seat only once in 1996.

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