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Anti-occupation and a rope called old pension planABBO News

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There is infighting within the ranks of both the BJP and Congress, although notably more so within the ruling party. To counter opposition to the incumbent, the BJP has denied entry to nearly a dozen MLAs and changed the constituencies of several lawmakers, including ministers.

While the heavyweights have taken on sitting congressional MLAs, observers aren’t sure the strategy will work. Only four of the 21 BJP rebels have so far withdrawn from the fray. Hamirpur, Sundarnagar, Dharamshala, Kullu, Fatehpur, Kangra, Bilaspur and Kinnaur are some of the districts where the BJP candidates are clashing with the rebels.

The BJP hopes that its star activists – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National Chairman JP Nadda and other Union ministers – can lean towards the party despite the wave against incumbency and the weight of history (no party has repeated a term since 1985).

It is also encouraging that the state’s predominantly Hindu population responds favorably to the party’s temple rhetoric and community bullying. But there is a lot of anger over the decision to scrap the old pension scheme, as well as over unemployment, high prices and GST on everyday consumer staples.

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