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BJP zeroed in on Jairam Thakur as new CM of Himachal, says unofficial report

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Chief Minister Jairam Thakur

The party high-command would make an official announcement from its headquarters in Delhi anytime during the current week, suggested the sources.

Shimla: Amid clamour for making Prem Kumar Dhumal the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh despite losing his seat, Jairam Thakur –five-times Member of the HP Legislative Assembly, has been zeroed in on as the new Chief Ministerial candidate by the central observers of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), suggested the internal sources of the party on the condition of anonymity.

Though there is no official confirmation from the party high-command, the report is being considered to be confirmed. Further, it goes by the logic that the BJP will refrain from sending a wrong message by committing a blunder of making a losing candidate a Chief Minister. This action will definitely dent the party’s image, and the BJP high-command has already considered the long-term consequences of it.  

Though it was believed to be a mere formality, today, the Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar arrived in Himachal and held a meeting with the newly elected MLAs and talked to them separately to consider their individual point of view.

They also met the party’s state unit core committee, which includes Dhumal, state party chief Satpal Singh Satti, all the five MPs from the state and organisation secretary Pawan Rana.

The party high-command would make the official announcements from its headquarters in Delhi anytime during the current week, suggested the sources.

The news came as a disappointment to Dhumal, who was lobbying through its supporters and loyal MLAs to become the new Chief Minister despite losing elections from the Sujanpur constituency.

Three winning MLAs even offered to vacate their seats for the former Chief Minister. The community of employees in Himachal also threatened the BJP of dire consequences in the next assembly elections.   

The names of Union Minister of Health, Jagat Prakash Nadda, Rajiv Bindal, and Suresh Bhardwaj have been doing rounds as the eligible candidates for the top seat.

The BJP has returned to power by winning 44 seats in the 68-membered Legislative Assembly of the Hill State. Sadly, losing elections for its Chief Ministerial face became a vitriolic reality.

About MLA Jairam Thakur

He had won his first assembly elections in 1998. This assembly election, Jairam Thakur won from Seraj constituency by defeating Chet Ram of the Congress.

He has won the five assembly elections from Seraj constituency of Mandi district.  The by-election of 2014 was the only occasion when Jairam Thakur had lost elections to Pratibha Singh, wife of Virbhadra Singh.

He is believed to be closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has served as Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in previous BJP governments. During 2007 to 2009, he has served as the party president.   

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Election Watch

Himachal BJP Chief Satti Barred from Campaigning by EC for MCC Violation

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Satpal Singh Satti Barred from Campaigning 1

Shimla-The Election Commission of India has barred Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti from campaigning for 48 hours. This prohibition would begin from 10 am tomorrow onwards for two days for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

This makes him the first such leader from Himachal Pradesh who was barred from campaigning for violating MCC.

Satti had used an obscene slur for Congress chief Rahul Gandhi while addressing a public meeting in Shimla constituency’s Ramshahar in Nalagarh sub-division on April 14, 2019.  The EC had taken strict note of it and had issued a notice. Satti had filed a reply justifying himself that he was merely narrating a Facebook comment made by some other person. He also alleged media of presenting edited video clip with manipulations. However, this justification failed to appeal to the EC as the word used by Satti was highly derogatory.  

Also, it was alleged that Satti had made objectionable remarks over religious sect Radha Swami, for which he had also apologized.

Here is what Satti Had Said About Rahul Gandhi:

A couple of video clips were shared on social media after someone recorded his address on mobile cameras. 

However, Satti is yet to receive a response to the reply he has filed to a second notice served to him by EC for again making objectionable comments about Priyanka Vadra dressing and Rahul Gandhi’s bachelorhood in public meeting in Una.  The second notice was sent on the basis of video footage recorded by EC’s video surveillance team.

Himachal Pradesh Congress had launched a statewide protest against Satti along with submission of a complaint to the EC. An FIR was also lodged against Satti in relation to his derogatory comments.  Effigies were burnt at various places. Youth wing of the State Congress had smeared black paint on the face of Satti in BJP posters in Shimla. Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had gone to the extent of saying that Satti had lost his mental balance.

State BJP leaders have so far avoided condemning Satti’s remarks, which also drew criticism from the opposition.

BJP leaders like Shanta Kumar, however, defended Satti. Shanta said Satti had apologized for his remarks. However, Satti had only apologized to Radha Swami organization. He had refused to apologize to Rahul Gandhi. He maintained that Rahul had also been addressing PM Modi as Chowkidar Chor or Chore while addressing rallies and public meetings.

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Election Watch

Black Paint Smeared on HP BJP Chief’s Face in Posters, Congress Also Files Police Complaint

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Black Paint Smeared on Satpal Satti's Posters in Shimla

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has filed a complaint to police for lodging an FIR against Satpal Singh Satti, President of BJP HP, for making derogatory remarks and statements against INC President Rahul Gandhi. Congress said this news was also published by various newspapers on Monday.

HPCC has already made a call for state-wide protest against Satti on April 16.

At the same time, the obscene remarks have angered the State Youth Congress. Workers of Youth Congress were smearing black paint on Satti’s face on BJP poster in Shimla as a protest. Workers can also be seen in the video writing ‘Besharm Satti’ (Shameless) on BJP posters.

The State President of Youth Congress, Manish Thakur, has made a call do the same with BJP chief’s face on posters across the State. All workers across Himachal should boycott and burn effigies of Satti in their respective constituencies, he said.

In its complaint, HPCC said that on April 14, 2019, Satpal Singh Satti was addressing a public meeting organised at Ramshaher of  Nalagarh Vidhan Sabha Assembly in District Solan. During his address, he allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Rahul Gandhiji and former UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. These remarks were highly defamatory and against women’s dignity, Congress said in its complaint. It also alleged that the objectionable remarks used by Satti are also in gross violation of the guidelines laid down by Election Commission of India.

The unparliamentary language used by Satti while delivering the speech in this meeting tarnishes the image of AICC President Rahul Gandhi, the complaint said.

 The abusive remarks used against Sonia Gandhi are damaging the public image of a woman, who is given the utmost importance in the Social Indian setup, it said.

These remarks would tarnish the image of Congress Party in India as well as in Himachal, the complaint said.  Congress also complained that Satti has committed a criminal offence by passing derogatory remarks and has also violated the guidelines issued by Election Commission of India for smooth conduction of elections.  Some cuttings from today’s Dallies were also attached with the complaint.

Satti, as per a PTI report, refused to apologize for the remarks, and said he was merely reading contents of a comment posted by someone on social media.  Instead, he said Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders should apologise for using ‘chor’ word for PM.

I have narrated an incident while addressing a public meeting in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan district whereby a derogatory remark was made against Rahul in retaliation of using ‘chor’ word for PM in a viral social media message,

he told PTI.

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Himachal BJP Chief Caught on Camera Passing Obscene Remarks at Rahul Gandhi

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Satpal Singh Satti's abusive remark on rahul gandhi

Shimla-Satpal Singh Satti, the president of Bhartiya Janata Party’s Himachal Pradesh unit, was caught on camera passing obscene remarks at INC President Rahul Gandhi Gandhi.  He was addressing a public meeting of SC morcha in Shimla constituency’s Ramshahar in Nalagarh sub-division on April 14, 2019.

Satti has defended it arguing that he only read a comment made on Rahul Gandhi by some Facebook user. He said he only wanted to convey that if Rahul Gandhi can address the Prime Minister as “Chowkidar Chor Hai” from the public stage, he should be ready to face similar derogatory remarks.

However, Satti’s language registered a new low in the battle of political statements ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.   

A couple of video clips were shared on social media after someone recorded his address on mobile cameras. 

The State unit of Congress and its leaders have sought an public apology from the BJP Chief and warned him that this matter would be taken to the Election Commission of India. State Congress unit has made a call for statewide protest on April 16.

Afraid of losing elections, Congress said, BJP is deliberately trying to divert the attention of the people from real issues.

We are taking the opinion of our legal cell. Subsequently, we may file a formal complaint against him with the EC,

a Congress Spokesperson said.

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