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Thousands Flood First CPI(M) Poll Rally for its Lone Himachal MLA

MLA Rakesh Singha and Politburo member Brinda Karat addressed thousands of people and vowed to continue working for their rights.
Thousands Flood First CPI(M) Poll Rally for its Lone Himachal MLA

Shimla: Rakesh Singha’s fearlessness and perseverance in fighting for the basic needs of his constituency despite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh has bolstered his image as a people’s politician.

When the lone Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA from Theog, in Shimla district, addressed the first major CPI(M) election rally at the Potato Ground on Tuesday, thousands of voters flooded the venue to support Singha, who had defeated BJP’s Rakesh Verma in the 2017 Assembly election. 

I understand that I am alone but it is my duty to raise your issues in the Vidhan Sabha,” Singha (65) said to the rapturous applause of supporters.

In fact, when the draconian farm laws were being introduced, I tore the document in the Vidhan Sabha and the chief minister had to scramble through the papers because he had no idea what was in it. That is my role,” Singh said in the presence of CPI(M) Politburo member and former Rajya Sabha member Brinda Karat. 


Countless people recalled Singha’s work and support in raising issues like water and electricity supply, roads, vacant posts of schoolteachers and staff in hospitals and pressuring the state government to fulfil several such demands. 

Responding to the allegation of his critics that he has only staged protests and not worked for any significant development of his constituency, the Singha said, “Agitation for the masses remains the CPI(M)’s strength.”

The CPI(M) says “no to liquor, violence by goondas and JCB culture (construction of roads just before elections to get votes without forest and other environmental clearances). Our candidates raise such basic issues in all constituencies and it will definitely help us”, the MLA added.

Asking voters to reject the politics of the BJP and the Congress and vote for a party which supports the marginalised, the farmers and the oppressed, Karat said, “The level of inflation has made sustenance difficult while the BJP talks about schemes. These schemes do not matter when the GST on apple packaging is increased (from 12%-18%) and gas cylinders cost Rs 1,100.”

In its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto, the BJP had promised LPG gas cylinders to all rural poor households with Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming that it would spare women in far-flung villages from carrying wood on their backs to their homes daily and the smoke of the cooking fire.  


However, rural women still use earthen stoves as an LPG cylinder costs more than Rs1,100. Vimla, a resident of Madhan, in Theog, agreed with Karat. “It is true. We got cylinders [under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana] but they are so expensive to refill. Therefore, we only use them when guests come. We have to light the fire everyday,” she told Newsclick.

The narrow and winding road of Theog was packed with scores of Singha supporters carrying red flags in his support. They raised slogans and danced their way to the tune of local music to the venue.

This is not a show of strength; it’s his work that is translating into such a massive crowd,” said Raj Kapoor (53), who is from the neighbouring constituency but participated in the rally because he believes that Singha has emerged as a leader who has stood with the people of the area regardless of any prejudices. 

Women dressed in the local attire and youths had come from far-off areas to support the MLA. “He supported us in our times of need. When no one cared about us and no other politician visited our village, he was with us,” Kaachi Devi, who had travelled from Kathog along with other women from her village, told Newsclick.

The younger generation too was impressed Singha’s fearless attitude and style of politics. A group of students from Theog Degree College waiting to greet the MLA told Newsclick that they are inclined to vote for Singha not only because of his politics but also the different approach to it. 


The way he is not afraid to walk into any office and question officials is very impressive. That is why I am here. Earlier, I did not pay too much attention to political leaders,” Nisha (21), a student of Theog Degree College, told Newsclick

Rakesh Singha: Profile

Rakesh Singha was born in Kotgarh (Theog-Kumarsain), Shimla District, on December 8, 1956, to a family of farmers. He completed primary education at Lawrence School, Sanawar, HP, and got enroled in Chandigarh Government College for under-graduation.

Subsequently, he joined Himachal Pradesh University for postgraduation and got involved in student politics. To act as a bridge between student issues and national politics, he joined the Students’ Federation of India. 

Singha was first elected to the Vidhan Sabha from the Shimla constituency in 1993. However, he was disqualified following a Supreme Court decision. Subsequently, he contested from Theog, formerly known as the Theog-Kumarsain constituency, (after delimitation in 2008) in 2012 and stood third. 

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