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Electing next Chief Minister of Himachal would be a tricky task for BJP

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BJP selects Chief Minister of Himachal

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.

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Congress Rally in Shimla (Video): Shukla Mimics PM Modi’s Signature Dialogue While Mocking at Promises of ‘Achhe Din’

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Shimla Congress Rally march 2021

Shimla-Congress Jan Akrosh Rally held in Shimla on March 10, 2021, witnessed a huge gathering and was attended by veteran leader Virbhadra Singh, Rajeev Shukla, in charge and member of Working Committee of Indian National Congress and party representatives from various districts.

The rally was held to express anguish over price hikes in LPG and petroleum fuels, unemployment which is at an all-time high, rampant privatization by putting government resources on a sale for the benefit of corporate, corruption, and the promise of “Achhe Din” made by BJP before 2014 elections.   

At the same time, the rally was a desperate attempt to revive Congress which is on the verge of extinction in context to role and power of an opposition. The leaders tried to send out a message to stand united and leave all sorts of differences behind to bring back the party to power ahead of elections to Municipal Corporations and 2022 polls in Himachal Pradesh.

rajeev shukla in himachal pradesh

This extinction is worsened by internal politics – the reason the party has failed to show unity and fight as one unit for a long time now.

The scenes of Natti being performed by workers on the beats of traditional instruments being played by local artists cheered the crowd. Others had arranged Punjabi dhol to mark their presence more loudly .

Shimla Police on duty

On reaching the stage to address the rally, former Chief Minister and Congress’s face in the State, Virbhadra Singh, also took a small moment to dance on Pahari music before proceeding to his speech. This was perhaps the only moment where workers actually felt most excited and tried to get glimpses of the veteran leader.

He advised the party leaders to establish and maintain the discipline to strengthen the party.

Shukla referred to Virbhadra Singh as “Shere-Himachal” while addressing him.

Shukla targeted Prime Minister Narender Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party Government by taking a jibe at them. He mimicked the signature dialogue of PM “Bhayion aur Behno” and asked the party workers to identify it.

“PM Modi is putting on sale everything Congress has built for the nation,” Shukla said while referring to rampant privatization of government organizations, services, infrastructure and resources.

In his address, the leader of the opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri, highlighted rising debt on the state. He gave an estimate of the debt ( Rs 85,000 crores) on the state at the end of current BJP government tenure.

You can get glimpses of the rally and listen to Shukla’s complete address in the video below:

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Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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Himachal: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in.

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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