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Centuries old historic town of temples, Mandi also known as ‘Choti Kashi’ has been dressed up to host a mammoth Parivartan Rally at the sprawling Padal Stadium on October 18 next week. Prominent BJP leaders from all the 12 districts of the State and adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have descended in the town. All the big and small hotels, Circuit House and Rest Houses of PWD, IPH and HPSEB are fully packed. Many visitors are staying with friends.
Heavy police force of the 3rd Battalion and special security personnel from New Delhi have been deputed at the sensitive points. Union Health Minister, J.P. Nadda is camping here for four days to personally supervise all the arrangements. Helicopter of the Prime Minister, may and may not land at Padal Ground. Alternatively he may land at Sundernagar and drive to Mandi.
Although Himachal Pradesh is a stronghold of BJP, in the past elections Congress came to power because of rift and rivalry between the two top leaders of the State. The power was handed over to Virbhadra Singh on a platter by wrong distribution of the tickets. The winnable candidates of both the warring camps were denied tickets. However, in the Parliamentary elections all the four MPs of BJP swept the poll. Even the wife of the chief minister, Pratibha Singh, lost to RSS worker, Ram Swarup Sharma.
Ironically many small states merged in the Union of India after the independence, the so-called Rajas in Mandi Parliamentary constituency manipulated to usurp power by getting Congress tickets. Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, Raja Joginder Sen of Madi State and Raja of Sundernagar, Lalit Sen, got the Congress tickets and won the elections from Mandi Parliamentary seat due to illiteracy among the hilly people and age-old devotion to the hill rulers despite the scourge of forced labour (Begar) and other atrocities usually perpetrated by the kings.