With Only Two Wins in Assembly Polls, ‘Royals’ Losing Their Charm in Himachal Pradesh

The erstwhile royals of Himachal Pradesh who once commanded their own space in politics are losing their charm as only two of them won in the state polls this time while two others lost at the hustings.

Vikramaditya Singh, the son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh and the scion of erstwhile royal family of Rampur Bushahr, won by a margin of 13,860 votes from Shimla rural, while Anirudh Singh of the erstwhile royal family of Koti, won from Kasumpti seat.

Virbhadra Singh had dominated the state politics for over four decades and served as the chief minister several times. His wife Pratibha Singh, who hails from the erstwhile royal family of Keonthal, is currently the state Congress chief and is among one of the frontrunners for the chief minister’s post.

While Vikramaditya Singh defeated BJP’s Ravi Mehta, Anirudh Singh defeated outgoing Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj by a margin of 8,865 votes. Bhardwaj had changed his seat from Shimla Urban to Kasumpti.

On the other hand, Congress’ Asha Kumari from the erstwhile royal family of Chamba lost from Dalhousie, a seat she had won six times in a row, by a margin of 9,918 votes.

Erstwhile royal of Kullu Hiteshwar Singh, who ran as an independent, also lost Banjar assembly seat to BJP’s Surender Shourie. Hiteshwar Singh polled 14,932 votes, Shourie 24,241 votes and Congress’ Khimi Ram 19,963.

Another erstwhile royal Maheshwar Singh, who is Hiteshwar’s father, was also in the fray this election but had withdrawn in favour of the BJP.

He was initially nominated by the BJP as its official candidate but was denied the ticket after his son filed his nomination as an independent candidate from Banjar constituency.

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