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BJP and its candidate finally win Shimla seat!

National, Sat, 16 May 2009 IANS

Shimla, May 16 (IANS) Having been unlucky 10 times in electoral politics, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and more so its candidate, Virender Kashyap, finally managed to win the Shimla Lok Sabha seat.


Kashyap defeated two-time Congress MP Dhani Ram Shandil by a margin of 27,327 votes.



This was a maiden victory for Kashyap and the BJP both on this reserved seat which was a known Congress bastion.



Kashyap, who had earlier lost all the 10 elections including six parliamentary in his three-decade-long political career, got 310,946 votes and Shandil got 283,619 votes. He does not mind being likened to the story of King Bruce and the spider.



This constituency, which covers three districts of Shimla, Sirmaur and Solan, had gone along predictable lines for decades, returning Congress candidate K.D. Sultanpuri six times, from 1980 to 1998. In all these years, Sultanpuri defeated Kashyap.



In 1999 when Sultanpuri was denied the Congress ticket, the BJP left the seat for its alliance partner Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) that was floated by former union minister Sukh Ram after parting ways with the Congress.



At that time, the Congress had lost all the four seats. Shandil, who contested the elections on the HVC ticket, defeated the Congress candidate Gangu Ram Musafir.



In the 2004 elections, Shandil joined the Congress and re-contested the elections from this seat. He defeated H.N. Kashyap of the BJP by over 108,180 votes.



'This was certainly the toughest election in my political career,' said Shandil, a former Army officer.



Kashyap attributed his victory to a sympathy factor for him that paved the way for his maiden entry into Parliament.



'I had made up my mind that if I lose this election, it could be the last one... the people have taken care. I am grateful to them,' he told IANS.



To ensure his victory, Kashyap literally reached out to his electors by writing over one million postcards.



'In this materialistic world, writing a letter to every voter is the best option to win their hearts,' Kashyap said.



'I won this election due to this personal touch (writing letters),' he remarked.



He also believes in the famous legend of 'King Robert Bruce and the spider'.



'I succeeded (in this election) because I believe in the dictum: try try... and try again,' he said.



The ruling BJP won three out of Himachal's four seats while former Congress chief minister Virbhadra Singh won the Mandi seat by a margin of over 13,000 votes.


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