Much of the BJP losing Himachal Pradesh is being viewed through the prism of the party doing badly in I&B Minister Anurag Thakur’s Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency where the Congress won 12 of the 17 assembly seats; the BJP had 44 seats in the outgoing assembly. The BJP lost all the five seats in Hamirpur district and it is significant that the Congress picked Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu who is an MLA from Nadaun that falls in Hamirpur region. Deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri is Haroli MLA from Una district that is also part of Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat. What does this mean for the BJP? Will a Congress win in 2022 make it difficult for Thakur to get re-elected from Hamirpur in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls? Himachal Congress leaders themselves admit that Thakur would face no threat for the Lok Sabha seat in spite of a strong Congress performance. “That is because assembly elections and Lok Sabha elections would be fought on different issues. Besides, remember an assembly seat like Sujanpur in Hamirpur was secured more by postal ballots than the EVM,” pointed out a Congress leader. Congress sources admit that though Thakur had campaigned aggressively, it was his father PK Dhumal’s laid back strategy that benefited Congress — yes they admit to have gained from the J P Nadda-Dhumal rift.