NRI from Saudi Arabia Defeats Veteran Politician to Win Himachal Pradesh Seat
Prakash Rana defeated BJP's Gulab Singh Thakur to win the Jogindernager constituency seat as an independent candidate.
Prakash Rana, the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) contestant who made his millions in Saudi Arabia, won the election in Himachal Pradesh’s Jogindernager constituency after defeating mainstream politicians. The result for the state legislative Assembly elections was declared on Dec. 18.
India-born Rana, who has business interests across transport, construction, diamond and engineering equipment in Saudi Arabia, contested as an independent candidate in the constituency in Mandi district. This was his debut foray in Indian politics.
“I have returned to serve the people of my village, leaving my son to take care of my business. I have donated 10 per cent of my earnings from the day I began earning,” said Rana, according to the Times of India.
Rana, who hails from Gulvan village, defeated former minister Gulab Singh Thakur, a BJP stalwart who happens to be the father-in-law of BJP MP Anurag Thakur. Anurag is also the former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
— Chitleen K Sethi (@ChitleenKSethi) December 18, 2017
Rana won with a huge margin of 6,635 votes. He said he returned to his village two years ago after living abroad for 30 years to fulfill the dreams of his father, Prem Rana, who was employed in the Indian Army, and wanted to work for the upliftment of the area.
He said that the lack of development in his area forced him to contest the elections.
Rana has been a popular figure at Jogindernager where people say that he assisted them in building roads, providing financial aid for getting girls from poor families married, and organizing sports tournaments for the youth.
“You have seen the quality of the roads here, people here still don’t have access to clean drinking water, and there is only one functioning hospital here. A lot of work needs to be done here,” Rana told ANI in October this year. “Around 700 Indians are working in my business in Dubai, of which about 80 of them are from Himachal,” he had then told Hill Post. “I spend 7 to 10 percent of my profit for development work in Jogindernagar area.”
Rana has built a mansion for his family Jogindernagar as well as a helipad, which he uses to travel to New Delhi. He owns a helicopter and multiple cars, including a Mercedes. “I am not contesting for money, but for development of my area,” he said.