Two-time BJP legislator in Himachal joins Congress

Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh): In a jolt to the opposition BJP, its two-time legislator Urmil Thakur Sunday joined the Congress, saying the saffron party “is not a disciplined party”.

“The BJP is no more a party of discipline. So I have decided to join the Congress,” Thakur, who was upset over being denied a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket for the Sujanpur assembly by-election, said at a function at Lambaloo village in Hamirpur district.

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Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was also present at the function, said he had cordial relations with late BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand though their ideology was different.

Thakur lost the 2012 assembly elections to independent member Rajinder Rana, and is now the Congress candidate for the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat. She is late Jagdev Chand’s daughter-in-law.

She was a strong contender from Sujanpur, but the party denied her a ticket and instead nominated Narinder Thakur, her brother-in-law and a Congress rebel leader who joined the party recently, as its candidate for the May 7 assembly by-election.

The Congress, which is hoping to wrest BJP’s pocket-borough Hamirpur parliamentary constituency, has pitched Rajinder Rana against BJP’s two-time MP Anurag Thakur, son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

The Congress is yet to announce its candidate for the Sujanpur assembly seat. Party leaders said they are likely to field Anita Rana, wife of Rajinder Rana.

The assembly by-election will be held simultaneously with polling for the four Lok Sabha seats in the state May 7.