CPI(M)’s Rakesh Singha has won in the Theog Assembly constituency of Himachal Pradesh with a margin of around 2000 votes. Coming second was Rakesh Sharma who had won in the Theog Constituency of Shimla District in the years 1993, 2003 and 2007.
Rakesh Singha from the CPI(M), who is the General Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Kisan Sabha is not a new face for the area. He has been a popular leader who has led people’s movements across the state. He was also the MLA in 1993 from Shimla.
The left has always had its presence in Himachal. Students Federation of India (SFI), a left student organisation, has traditionally been strong in the state. The left had contested on 20 seats – 18 candidates from the left parties and they had also supported 2 independent candidates. Their campaign this time was to be the voice of the people in the assembly. They campaigned that the BJP and the Congress were 2 sides of the same coin and the voice of the people would be echoed by the left. The left campaigned to play the role of a credible opposition. The campaign was taken well by the people and the left ended up getting substantial votes.
The victory of Rakesh Singha is also a reflection of the success of the movements which the left had been leading in the area. Land has been the main issue in the Theog constituency and the left has been fighting on the land question in the Shimla region. So, they could succeed in gaining people’s faith. The left had also played a pivotal role in fighting for justice in the case of Gudiya, a class 10th student who was gangraped and murdered in Shimla. The parents of Gudiya had come to the left for their help. The left played an important role in helping them and also reaching out to the people.
“This success of the left in Himachal can be seen as a manifestation of people’s anger and anguish against the socio-economic policies which make their lives miserable and vulnerable”, said Tikender Singh Panwar, Former Deputy Mayor of Shimla from the CPI(M).