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Himachal Congress arch rivals' progeny campaign together

IANS  |  Shimla 

The road to political success that six-time Chief and former Telecom Sukh Ram, both veterans, have followed throughout their lives has never been the same.

Arch rivals -- Virbhadra Singh, 83, and Sukh Ram, 91 -- both three-time MPs from Mandi, prefer not to cross paths with each other. But their progeny are now trudging together on the roads cutting through the hill state.

Virbhadra Singh's son is campaigning for Sukh Ram's grandson Ashray Sharma, who is making his electoral debut as a candidate from Mandi, once the bastion. He is pitted against BJP's sitting

"has been touring extensively, with Ashray Sharma, though is yet to start campaigning," state told IANS.

is one of the country's largest constituencies comprising Kullu, and some areas of Chamba and Shimla districts, besides the tribal-dominated Assembly seats of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti.

holds a mass base in Mandi and Kullu districts, but he needs Virbhadra Singh's support in other areas where he holds sway, says a

The seat is also seeing a battle of supremacy between and Chief as both belong to Mandi district.

Vikramaditya Singh, 30, the young scion of the Bushahr family, like his father, does not hesitate to fold his hands and bow his head before the commoners to seek votes for the party.

So does local hotelier Sharma, 32, who banks on his grandfather's legacy and misses no opportunity to hit out at his father, Anil Sharma' party, the

lost a Cabinet berth after he son was pitted against his own party. "It's my grandfather's dream to see me become an MP," Ashray told IANS.

Sukhram, popularly known as Panditji in Mandi, in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections refused to campaign for from Mandi.

During the 2013 Lok Sabha bypoll -- caused by Virbhadra Singh's resignation, he told the media that he was too old to take to the streets for Virbhadra Singh's wife

In 2017, the grandfather-grandson joined the But parted ways with it to rejoin the Congress on March 25. Ahead of launching their election campaign earlier this month, they met Virbhadra Singh in to iron out their differences.

four Lok Sabha seats -- Shimla (reserved), Kangra, Hamirpur and Mandi -- will vote on May 19.

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First Published: Wed, April 24 2019. 11:44 IST