BJP gets poll feeback: Only 2 candidates say may not win

Even as most ministers, sitting MLAs and 23 new candidates gave their first-hand feedback to the BJP leadership on the poll performance in 68 constituencies during a day-long session held here on Monday, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal did not rule out possibilities of seeking support of the potential rebels, "if situation demands so."

"Most realistic assessment is that the BJP will get more than two-third majority. There are six to seven constituencies where rebels can affect the party's performance", Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said.

Incidentally, while only two candidates, including a sitting MLA, admitted that they may not win, most others claimed that they will be elected maybe by narrow margins. Dhumal drew satisfaction from the fact that the self assessment by the candidates matched with the overall view of the party about its return to power.

Senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar and party's national general secretary JP Nadda both Rajya Sabha members did not attend the meeting in which Hamirpur MP and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur was present. Kumar and Nadda's absence was attributed to their preoccupation in Delhi for the forthcoming Parliament session.

The meeting, however, saw the party leaders presenting an optimistic note to dispel fear about reversals or losses due to the presence of large number of rebels and Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) being in the fray.

"I have reports and official inputs about the BJP repeating the government. Yet, I am making request to all MLAs and party leaders to keep their channels open with the rebels," Dhumal told the meeting, which was conducted in two sessions.

However, some candidates admitted raised the issue of faulty ticket distribution even as Kangra, where maximum rebels are contesting the polls, remained under focus. Insiders said a main purpose of the meeting was to read the mood of the party officerbearers and draw a strategy to woo the rebels and some of the disgruntled party MLAs and ministers -especially those loyal to Shanta Kumar. Dhumal denied having received complaint about sabotage during the polls.

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