The Banjar Assembly Constituency has Surender Shourie of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Khimi Ram from the Indian National Congress (INC), Neeraj Saini of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Hiteshwar Singh as an Independent.

The entry of Hiteshwar who is the son of Maheshwar Singh, a former MLA of Kullu district, has made the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections for this constituency a four-way contest. Hiteshwar’s decision of running for the MLA seat as an Independent candidate comes after he was denied a BJP ticket.

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BJP fielded Surender Shourie, who is the sitting MLA in Banjar district. Hiteshwar has been a Zila Parishad (ZP) member from Raila ward in Banjar. Political analysts believe that he can make a dent in the BJP’s vote bank and make the going tough for Shourie. Previously, BJP had dropped Maheshwar Singh’s nomination from the adjoining Kullu district. It is anticipated that Maheshwar was dropped after he failed to convince his son to withdraw his candidature from the Banjar assembly seat. 

Meanwhile, Congress fielded Khimi Ram, a former BJP state President and deputy speaker, who joined Congress in June this year. The AAP has focused its efforts on Himachal Pradesh, where politics has long been bipolar, with the Congress and the BJP dominating. The Kejriwal-led party’s campaign is focused on two key issues: health and education.

The BJP had won 44 of Himachal’s 68 assembly constituencies last time and the Congress had won 21. The CPI(M) had won one seat. A party needs to win 35 seats for a majority to form the government in the state.

In 2017, Surender Shourie of the BJP won the seat by defeating his closest rival Aditya Vikram Singh of the INC with a margin of 3,240 votes. Jhabe Ram Kaushal of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) also contested the 2017 election. 

Banjar is one of the 68 assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh. Banjar falls under the Kullu district and Mandi Lok Sabha Constituency. Banjar has more than 73, 000 eligible voters. 

In 2012,  Karan Singh of the INC defeated Khimi Ram of the BJP by 9,292 votes. Narayan Singh of the CPI(M), Teja Singh of Lok Jan Shakti Party (LSP) and independent candidate Paras Ram also contested the HP Assembly Elections in 2012. 

Himachal Pradesh votes in a
single round on November 12. Results will be announced on December 8. Elections
to the Gujarat assembly are also expected to be held in December this year. 

Quick facts about the Banjar
Assembly seat  

Name of the assembly
constituency, district: Banjar, Kullu district

Polling date: November 12, 2022

Sitting MLA, party: Surender
Shourie, BJP

Key candidates, party in 2022:
Khimi Ram (INC), Surender Shourie (BJP), Hiteshwar Singh (Independent), Neeraj
Saini (AAP)

Winning candidate, party in
2017:   Surender Shourie, BJP

Runner-up name, party
2017:  Aditya Vikram Singh, INC

Winning margin in 2017: 3,240

Top 3 candidates 2017: 
Surender Shourie (BJP),  Aditya Vikram Singh (INC), Jhabe Ram (BSP)

Top 3 candidates 2012: Karan
Singh (INC), Khimi Ram (BJP), Narayan Singh (CPIM)

Lok Sabha constituency: Mandi