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Cong rebels visit former Himachal CM Dhumal, seek blessing before polls

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NewsDrum Desk
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Hamirpur/Shimla (HP), Mar 29 (PTI) Congress rebels Rajinder Rana and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal on Friday sought senior BJP leader and former chief minister of Himachal Prem Kumar Dhumal.

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Lakahanpal and Rana, who had defeated Dhumal from Sujanpur assembly seat in 2017, had voted in favour of BJP in Rajya Sabha polls held last month and joined the party on March 23.

While Rana was given BJP tickets from Sujanpur, the party named Lakahanpal as its candidate from Basra assembly constituency.

After getting the BJP tickets Rana and Lakhanpal had returned back to their assembly segments on Thursday and on Friday they met Dhumal, father of Union Minister Anurag Thakur over breakfast.

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The district BJP chief Des Raj Sharma and other senior party functionaries were also present on this occasion.

The meeting is considered significant as the BJP leaders in their constituencies who were defeated by these rebel MLAs in 2017 assembly elections felt led down and stayed away from the programmes organised by the BJP to welcome these leaders on Thursday.

Blessings of Dhumal, the tallest BJP leader of the district, is important for these legislators to win the assembly bypolls.

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BJP leader Ranjit Singh who lost to Rana, a Congress turncoat in 2017 assembly polls from Sujanpur assembly seat by a margin of 399 votes has announced to contest as Independent against Rana.

Talking to the media Rana and Lakhanpal said that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and Dhumal blessed them for starting a new chapter in the BJP.

The leaders said that they would ensure their victory along with the victory of Anurag Thakur on the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat.

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They blamed the Congress president Mallika Arjun Kharge for declining the invitation to attend "Pran Pratistha" ceremony of Lord Ram at Ayodhya and said that being a Hindu we have immense faith in Lord Ram and were hurt by the decision of the party president.

Rana and Lakhanpal lashed at Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu for “humiliating” them, discriminating with their assembly seats, giving cabinet posts to his friends and unleashing political vendetta by conducting raids on the businesses and registering false cases against the MLAs.

Rana said that a massive rally would be held at Hamirpur on April 6h in which Anurag Thakur would also address the people.

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He said that it was “homecoming” for him.

Former Incharge of Congress Seva Dal, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal had on Thursday advised the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to keep his clan together rather than holding yatras.

He said that Gandhi will not gain anything by completing the Nyay Yatra and it is better if he takes care of the Congress clan.

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"Rahul Gandhi is doing Nyay Yatra but he is failing in handling his own party workers who had sided with the organisation since their childhood", he said.

With the disqualification of the six Congress MLAs, the strength of the ruling party came down from 40 to 34, including the Speaker who can vote only in the case of a tie during a floor test, in the 68-member Assembly.

The BJP has 25 members.

The three Independents have resigned and joined the BJP but their resignation is yet to be accepted by the Speaker. PTI BPL NB NB

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