Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to sound the poll bugle for the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections by holding a rally in Mandi later this month.
The prime minister is expected to reach out to the masses and seek support for the state government and the work done by the “double engine government”.
The state is scheduled to go to polls later this year for the 68-member Assembly. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to make a comeback in the state under the leadership of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur. The state has a history of not repeating governments.
The responsibility of organising the rally has been allocated to the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, in an effort to make a connect with the young population of the state. Sources stated that the date will be decided after getting approval by the PM.
“We have 20 yuva morcha workers in each booth now. Earlier, it used to be party members, but now we have our morcha workers as well. The PM will address 1 lakh yuva morcha workers in the rally,” stated a source.
Sources in the party said the rally would be a direct challenge as the Congress had won the Mandi seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“The PM has taken a direct fight against the Congress by this rally,” quipped the source.
Congress state president Pratibha Singh is an MP from Mandi. Sources believe that with the two parties coming to power alternately, the BJP is still not ruling the Congress out of the race.
“The Congress is trying to revive the legacy of former CM Veerbhadra Singh. It makes Mandi rally more interesting,” said the source.
Mandi parliamentary constituency has 17 seats under it. There are 10 assembly constituencies under Mandi district, of which 5 in Kullu, 1 Shimla and 1 Lahaul Spiti. Three of these 17 have been won by the Congress.