Of the 338 candidates in the fray for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, 158 candidates are multimillionaires. Amidst them is a candidate, Nand Kumar, fielded by Samajwadi Party who has emerged as the poorest candidate in the elections, but the remains unperturbed, reports Hindustan Times. The only SP candidate in the state has started campaigning with only Rs 1,000 and travels to places within the Churah constituency in Chamba district in a borrowed Bolero with his friends. Nand Kumar on only availing a car says, “Unlike helicopters, this vehicle helps me tour the interiors and far-flung areas.”
Nand Kumar, a postgraduate in Political Science and a social activist, grows fruits and vegetables to survive. In the election affidavit submitted by him there is no record of him owning land or even a vehicle and does not own any kind of investments. Only his wife owns 2.5 bighas of land. According to Hindustan Times, Kumar says, “My friends and relatives are helping me. I’m hopeful my party will also extend some help.”
According to Nand Kumar, his reason for joining Samajwadi Party was to fight for the people’s rights to get better healthcare and to better the condition of the workers working at the hydel plants. Kumar’s urge to contest election made him contact SP Secretary after he encountered a newspaper report where SP leader and ex-Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced that SP would fight Himachal Pradesh elections, 2017. Upon contact, he was put in touch SP state president Ram Niwas Yadav and ended up being the lone candidate from Samajwadi Party.
Kumar maintained that Churah is a backward constituency with only one hospital available for 70,000 people and emphasised that while rest of India have been discussing Digital India, there ‘a person has to climb a mountain to catch internet signal’.