Dharamshala | TNR
Political bigwigs in Congress are said to be miffed over moves made by top corporate company executive Bhawani Pathania to be the party candidate for the Fatehpur assembly seat bypolls.
The Fatehpur assembly seat in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh had fallen vacant following the death of Sujan Singh Pathania.
Keen to step into father’s boots
Keen to step into his father’s political boots, Bhawani Pathania is eager to contest the by-polls and retain the family legacy. His father, who was a minister during the Congress rule in the state, had passed away in February this year due to illness.
Branding building exercise
However, his attempt to project himself as the ideal candidate by resorting to hosting a branding activity did not exactly impress or enamor some senior Congress leaders. The brand-building exercise has become somewhat of an issue within the party.
Congress observers deployed
Congress party has deployed former ministers GS Bali and Choudhary Chander Kumar, along with sitting MLA from Sujanpur of Hamirpur district, Rajinder Rana, as observers for Fatehpur by-elections.
Party leaders arrived in Fatehpur on June 30 for a rally where Bhawani had showcased specially designed red and white color tags for vehicles and his supporters were raising slogans of ‘Jai Bhawani’.
Congress leaders irked
The individualistic show put up by Bhawani Pathania irked a few top Congress leaders, who criticized it. The absence of Congress flags was noticed by all and is being used as an issue to scuttle the chances of this corporate honcho wanting to enter politics. Party office-bearers were made to take note of the absence of party flags at the rally and this was reported to the party high command too.
Presence of Agnihotri, Asha Kumari noted
The presence of leader of Congress Legislative party Mukesh Agnihotri and sitting MLA from Dalhousie, Asha Kumari, in the rally on June 30 did not go unnoticed. Feathers were ruffled as these two have not been appointed by the party for election duty in this constituency.
However, despite whatever has been going on, sources in the party said that Congress would ultimately field him against BJP in the Fatehpur bypolls.
Bhawani had arranged a lunch at his residence for all the party leaders but Bali did not attend it, given the presence of other leaders who were invited to the event without taking his prior consent.