Paltry turnout in Hamirpur during Assembly polls

Paltry turnout in Hamirpur during Assembly polls

The Hamirpur polls on November 12 during the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022 saw a paltry turnout of 35.86 per cent. The centre of Himachal politics was when Prem Kumar Dhumal, the former Chief Minister and former MLA from the constituency, was in power. Dhumal, father of Union Minister Anurag Thakur, was former Himachal CM from 2008 to 2012 and also from 1998 to 2003.

This year, Hamirpur is away from the limelight as Dhumal is not even a candidate.

The BJP has fielded Narendar Thakur this time, while INC has fielded Dr Pushpendra Verma and AAP has fielded Sushil Kumar Saroch. The INC had initially fielded Ashish Sharma, who left the party two days later, after they announced Dr Verma as the candidate.

The BJP aims to regain its lost glory in the state politics scene and to hold on to its bastion.

In 2017 there were 11 candidates who contested for Hamirpur. The BJP's Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel won the election and defeated Samajwadi Party's Dr Manoj Kumar Prajapati by a margin of 48,655 votes. The top three candidates divided 93.7 per cent of the votes between them. The top three parties enjoyed 44.5 per cent, 25 per cent and 24.3 per cent votes.

It is important to note that 92 per cent of the voters in Hamirpur stay in rural areas. Veer Bhoomi is a largely Hindi speaking area, and is known as Veer Bhoomi as most of its youth want to join the defence services. It also means that the Agnipath scheme was one of the main poll issues in the district. There were wide scale protests in the district after the announcement of the Agnipath scheme.