Shimla, October 22
Sanjay Sood, who runs a tea shop in Shimla, filed his nomination as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Shimla Urban seat for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.
Sood replaced BJP minister Suresh Bhardwaj who has contested the Shimla Urban seat four times consecutively. Bhardwaj will now contest the Assembly polls from Kasumpti.
“I am grateful to my party for fielding a small worker like me from Shimla urban seat. Our minister (Suresh Bhardwaj) has been given a ticket from Kasumpti. He will win his seat and will also help me in winning my seat,” Sood told ANI.
Sood has been running his tea shop since 1991. Earlier, he used to sell newspapers at a bus stand.
Speaking to the ANI, Sood said, “I am extremely grateful that BJP made me its candidate to contest from a hot seat like Shimla Urban, I am on seventh heaven as it is truly a big honour for a small worker like me.”
Speaking his background, Sood said his education and culture came from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He said that he could manage to afford college by selling newspapers and that was the time when he got the opportunity to work in the “Vidyarthi Parishad” (student council).
“I worked in student council for five years but had to stop that because of financial issues I could not work for it any further. Then I later worked as a Medical Representative for 2 years, after which I founded this tea shop in 1991 and this is my workplace since then. I take care of my family and their expenses from this shop,” he said.
Despite being from a poor family, Sood said a sense of service has always been there in his heart.
“I do not come from a political background but have a very high spirit for service, and that was the reason why I sat at the booth for Balakram Kashyap of Janata Party in 1977, while I was in school. And since the formation of BJP in 1980 I have been working for it,” he said.
Sood mentioned that he was the party’s General Secretary of Shimla Mandal Urban before becoming the vice president of Shimla Division after which he was made the media in-charge of the district.
“While doing so (role of media in-charge), the party gave me a ticket and I became the councillor of Shimla Municipal Corporation twice. Then I became the president of Shimla district,” he said.
“Today I feel proud that the party has declared me its candidate from Shimla. I will not be able to thank my party,” he added further.
On being asked if there was any resentment among party workers on his candidacy, he replied, “I have a simple point that anyone who is with lotus flower cannot be angry. It hurts only momentarily. It is natural to be disappointed if you don’t get what you want. I will meet all of them. I have full faith that eventually we all will work for lotus and win the seat for Shimla constituency.”
Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls on November 12, while the counting of the votes will be done on December 8.
The BJP released the first list of 62 candidates on Wednesday. The state has 68 assembly seats. The BJP won 44 seats in the previous assembly polls while Congress won 21 seats.