Electing next Chief Minister of Himachal would be a tricky task for BJP
Four-time MLA Suresh Bhardwaj, who has been associated with the BJP since its inception and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is the most deserving candidate for the post, say his supporters.
Shimla: After the tragedy that struck the senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, the names of a couple of MLAs are doing rounds for being under consideration for the top post.
The BJP high-command has given the task to sort out this conflict to the Union ministers Nirmala Sitaraman and Narendra Singh Tomar. These two members will be in Himachal today to talk to all the stakeholders to judge the directions of the wind.
The caste does matter in Himachal, which apparently makes Thakur as the first choice.
It is noteworthy that despite his defeat, PK Dhumal camp is not stepping back and hoping for what appears to be impossible. Would BJP take such risk of electing a leader for the top position who individually failed to win elections?
In case of JP Nadda, it would cast a negative effect on the party management as his selection for the Chief Minister would leave a post vacant at the Centre. The government would have to spend on by-polls to fill this vacancy.
Therefore, five times MLA Jairam Thakur, who has also served as the State party president and as a minister in the Dhumal government, is being speculated to be leading in the race. Thakur and some other MLAs like Rajiv Bindal and Suresh Bhardwaj were summoned by the high-command to the party headquarters.
The supporters of four-times MLA Suresh Bhardwaj, who registered his third consecutive win on the Shimla-urban seat, are seeking high-commands attention.
Bhardwaj has a clean record with no criminal cases, a respectable academic record (Bsc. and LLB), and he has also served as the State party chief. The supporters argue that despite being a senior and highly experienced leader, Bhardwaj is being ignored deliberately as he is an honest politician.
Bhardwaj had become a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh at a tender age. He has served as the Vice-President and President of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad too, said his supporters.
He has been associated with the BJP since its inception during 1980 and was one of the leaders jailed during the emergency. He is the most deserving candidate for the post, said his supporters.
On his Facebook timeline, we came across a video of him, in which he recites his political carrer and achievements:
Other prominent names for the seat may include Mohinder Singh from Dharampur, who became MLA for the seventh time, and four-time MLA Krishan Kapoor.
The BJP registered a comfortable win with a full majority of 44 seats in the 68-member Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh. However, this victory came with a touch of grey as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party, Prem Kumar Dhumal, faced a humiliating defeat by the hands of his Congress rival Rajinder Rana with a margin of 2,933 votes in the battle for Sujanpur seat.
The political critics are of the view that ill-fated Dhumal fell victim to its party’s own politics. The BJP-high command shifted him from his comfort zone Hamirpur to Sujanpur. The announcement came just nine days before the polling day – November 9, leaving no time for campaigning.
Prior to his announcement as the CM candidate, JP Nadda’s active presence and political activity had created suspicion in the minds of Dhumal camp. It appears, the high-command played a tricky game with Dhumal.
MP Anand Sharma’s Visit to Himachal Heats Up Politics After District Admin Cancels Two Inauguration Ceremonies
Shimla- Senior Congress leader and sitting MP Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma is on a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh from Tuesday. During his visit, Sharma was supposed to inaugurate two developmental projects in Shimla. But the District Administration of Shimla has postponed the inauguration of these developmental projects. Congress has termed it a politically motivated step. This sudden cancellation of pre-planned ceremonies on the day of Sharma’s arrival has charged up the political atmosphere in the State, especially in the Shimla district.
The District Administration has written to Anand Sharma informing him that the two developmental projects he was supposed to inaugurate during his four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh had some unfulfilled official formalities and other pending works. The Administration said the community hall in Kleston was yet to obtain approval for the map of the building from the Municipal Corporation of Shimla, while the work of installing transformers at the old age home in Mashobra was yet to be completed.
The reason behind this decision is said to be the allegations labelled by a former Ward Councilor and BJP leader Sanjeev Sood that the map of the community hall was yet to be approved by the Municipal Corporation of Shimla and forest clearance was also pending. These allegations had also appeared in the media.
The District Congress Committee, Shimla (U) has opened a front against the District Administration for this sudden cancellation of the inauguration of two developmental projects and staged protests on Tuesday.
The DCC Shimla (U) staged a silent protest in front of the statue of Gandhi at the Ridge Maidan. Later, the workers marched to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, to register their protest.
Jitender Chaudhary – the President of the Committee- alleged that this cancellation was deliberate and purely politically motivated. He said the projects were funded through MPLAD by Sharma. Chaudhary also alleged that BJP was trying to take undue credit for these projects.
He alleged that the District Administration had already approved these two events, but cancelled them just a day before the arrival of the MP.
Chaudhary warned that if the District Administration still didn’t permit the inauguration of these projects, the party will stage more aggressive and massive protests.
Further, Congress Legislatures would also raise this issue aggressively in the HP Government’s Budget Session 2022-23. Anand Sharma – a senior Congress leader, former Union Minister and incumbent Rajya Sabha MP – is on a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh. This visit has attracted the attention of both ruling and opposition parties. Sharma’s term as an MP ends next month, and speculations are being made that he could return to the State politics. The demise of Virbhadra Singh, who was the face of the Indian National Congress in Himachal Prades, has left a void in state politics and within the party.
Considering the stature of Sharma, after Virbhadra Singh there is hardly any Congress leader who could outshine him. Following the demise of Virbhadra Singh, the INC has no face to present as its Chief Ministerial candidate and several Congress leaders wish to grab this opportunity to change the power structure of the party in the State. This speculated return of Sharma to the State politics ahead of the Assembly elections to be held by the end of this year would be a nightmare for such Congress leaders. Further, it could pose a challenge for the BJP as Sharma is capable of settling the Congress party’s in-fighting and uniting it for the elections.
Big Responsibility to RS Bali, Appointed as District Poll Observer for Punjab Polls
Shimla-Raghubir Singh Bali has been entrusted with a big responsibility in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections. All India Congress Committee has appointed Bali as one of the INC’s observers (Pathankot) in the polls.
The INC has appointed a total of 27 observers in 23 districts of Punjab, and RS Bali is the first name on this list. He has been assigned the responsibility from the Pathankot district.
This is not the first time RS Bali has been given a major responsibility by the high command. Earlier, he was assigned a major role in the West Bengal Assembly polls.
Other than Bali, Sudhir Sharma, Rajender Rana, and Rajneesh Kimta has also been appointed as observers from different districts.
AAP Forms ‘Committee’ to Strengthen Party in Himachal, Satish Thakur Appointed Chairman
Shimla-Aam Adami Party in Himachal Pradesh has expedited the process of forming and setting its house in order. This is evident from the ‘gherao, of the Vidhan Sabha in Dharamshala, followed by a press conference in Shimla. AAP has already announced to contest the elections on all 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh. Very recently, the party also announced that it would also contest elections on all seats in the elections to the Shimla Municipal Corporation to be held in 2022.
In the press conference, AAP had also alleged that the state government used unnecessary police force which left many of its protesting workers injured.
AAP has already launched its membership drive. Unemployment, inflation, free electricity etc. are some of the issues the party has picked to gain the attention of the people.
Considering the campaigning pattern in the poll-bound neighbouring state Punjab, expect a variety of sops to woo the diverse voter bank. The party would definitely try to sell the Delhi model for development in Himachal Pradesh too. “Himachal Pradesh generates electricity and supplies it to neighbouring states including Delhi. If Delhi could provide free electricity then why not Himachal,” AAP spokesperson said in a press conference. Further, what bothers most the opponent parties is what they call ‘freebies politics of AAP’.
On top of it, the transformation of the government educational institutes in Delhi could also appeal to the people who are over-burdened with the hefty fees of the private institutes. The academic environment and infrastructure of government schools, which is in tatters, has left parents with no choice but to opt for private schools. But it’s to be seen as to how AAP balances the caste equation and regional distribution of power, especially after the haphazard formation of a Commission for the ‘ General Category’ in the state.
Yesterday, AAP constituted a “Central Development Organization Committee” for Himachal Pradesh. The purpose of this Committee, AAP said, is to strengthen the party and approach as much population as possible.
Sachin Roy would be the State Co-Ordinator and Satish Thakur was given the responsibility as the Chairman of the Committee. The formation of the Committee follows recommendations given by the APP state-in-charge, Ratnesh Gupta.
Other nominated members include Tilak Thakur, Naresh Thakur, Uttam Chand, Suresh Negi, Chaman Sharma, Doctor Balwant Dhindsa, Abhishek Thakur, Adarsh Mehta, Ramesh Thakur, Lakshman Negi, Raj Thakur and Uday Dogra.
The AAP state-chief, Advocate Anoop Kesari, congratulated all the members for being entrusted with these responsibilities.