Incumbent Congress MLA Dhani Ram Shandil is pitted against his son-in-law, Dr Rajesh Kashyap from BJP.
SOLAN: The political battle between a father-in-law and son-in-law has made the Himachal Assembly elections interesting in Solan. Incumbent Congress MLA, Col Dhani Ram Shandil is in a direct fight with his son-in-law, Dr Rajesh Kashyap, who is a BJP candidate.
In the last Assembly elections also, the 82-year-old Congress leader was in a direct fight with his son-in-law. In 2017, he won the Solan seat with a close margin of 671 votes. Dhani Ram Shandil is trying to capitalize on the issues related to development and the same has been promised by BJP if they come to power. Both Shandil and Kashyap are going from village to village to garner rural votes. Dani Ram Shandil is using Rs 463 crore in development work as a poll plank to again fetch the Solan Assembly seat. On the other hand, BJP is targeting him for his old age.
While talking to The Sunday Guardian, Dhani Ram said “While I was minister, I had spent Rs 463 crore on the development of my constituency.” According to Shandil, indoor stadiums in government schools, building new schools and community health centres, and truck bypass were some of the main work he had done for the development of his constituency. While BJP is showcasing the work done by the “double engine”, government in Himachal Pradesh. BJP Solan has brought “Drishti Patar”, which promises parking for the city, ambulance roads to every village in the constituency, cricket stadium for Solan and playgrounds for rural areas. Varinder Kashyap, two-time MP from Shimla and brother of Rajesh Kashyap, told The Sunday Guardian: “We have a double engine government. The Centre has launched many schemes for the betterment of people and Jai Ram Thakur has successfully implemented them on the ground.”
The BJP is also planning to implement Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for vegetable farmers in Solan and “with this, farmers will get MSP for their vegetable produce”, said Kashyap.
According to Shandil, there are many development projects which he wants to bring to Solan, but could not because his party was not in power. “Solan was treated badly by the BJP government of Himanchal,” Shandil said. He further accused the state government of halting projects like Kandaghat vegetable and fruit mandi and Kandaghat hospital project.
It was noticed that despite being political rivals, both candidates are respecting the dignity of their relationship. While filing his nomination papers, Dr Rajesh Kashyap sought the blessing of his father-in-law. “This is a battle of ideology and principles, it’s not personal,” said Shandil.