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CPI-M against anti-conversion law in Himachal
Onkar Singh in Shimla | February 14, 2003 19:35 IST
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechuri on Friday said that his party would oppose any move to bring in an anti-conversion law in Himachal Pradesh.
"The BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] is trying to divert the attention of the electorate of Himachal Pradesh by talking about anti-conversion bill. If there is forcible conversion taking place somewhere then you can deal with it under the Indian Penal Code," he said.
The CPI-M has put up four candidates for the forthcoming polls in Himachal Pradesh and is supporting the CPI in six other constituencies.
Its candidates are Sanjay Chauhan from Shimla, Gurial Tawi from Rampur and Gurmat Singh from Nahan. The party has also put up a candidate for the Kinnaur Tribal seat for which the election will take place on June 8.
"We hope to bag the Shimla proper seat," Yechuri told rediff.com
"Sanjay Chauhan is pitted against Ganesh Dutt of the BJP and Harcharan Singh Bhajji of the Congress. He is a young and brilliant candidate and we are confident that he will win the seat by a comfortable margin," Yechuri said.
He said that the allegations of corruption made by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh against his Himachal Pradesh counterpart Prem Kumar Dhumal need to be investigated.
"It seems there is weight in these allegations," he added.
Sanjay Chauhan appeared very confident of his chances.
"We are doing well so far. Our campaign is yet to pick up. University students are helping me. People have seen through the games that the BJP is playing with the people. The response that we are getting from the people of Shimla is simply tremendous. If that is any indication then we should win this seat comfortably," he said.
Harcharan Singh Bhajji said, "The mood in the BJP is that of gloom. But the Congress is upbeat. The people of Shimla in particular, and Himachal in general, have decided to uproot the corrupt government of Prem Kumar Dhumal."
Ganesh Dutt, a close associate of Dhumal, could not be contacted. He was given a ticket against the wishes of the state BJP leadership.
Shimla has a total over 72,000 voters. Normally 55 to 60 per cent of them vote.
More reports from Himachal Pradesh