Shimla2 hours ago
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A vote swing of 4% changed power in the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections. Congress got 4% more votes this time, which increased its 18 seats as compared to 2017. On the other hand BJP lost exactly the same number of seats. Himachal is the home state of BJP National President JP Nadda and he could not save the government in his own state.
Understand … the math of vote swing in the result
The Congress got 42% of the votes in the 2017 assembly elections in Himachal. Then the party won 21 seats. This time the vote share of Congress increased by 4% to 46%. This increased the party’s seat tally from 21 to 39. Means the advantage of 18 seats.
On the other hand, BJP’s vote share, which got 49% votes in 2017, decreased by 4% this time. Because of this, its number of seats decreased from 44 to 26.
There has been a swing of 4 to 7% vote share every time in the assembly elections of Himachal and that is why the government changes here after every 5 years. This time also BJP’s mission repeat slogan failed due to the custom of having 4% vote share swing. In Himachal, the party which manages to get a total of 2.25 lakh votes more than the opposition party in the entire state, forms the government. This time Congress did the same.
4 big issues that affected the results
Old Pension Scheme: There are a total of 2.5 lakh employees in Himachal, which means at least one person from every second household is in a government job. Being an employee dominant state, it is also said that the party against which the employees are thrown out of the government.
All the employees of Himachal were agitating for the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for the last two-three years but the ruling BJP never spoke openly on this issue. On the other hand, after coming to power, the Congress gave a guarantee to implement OPS in the very first cabinet. He got the benefit of this.
Priyanka Gandhi had assured that she will restore OPS in the first cabinet itself.
1500 rupees to every woman: The Congress guaranteed Rs 1,500 per month to every woman above 18 years of age in the state. Although this promise was also made by the Aam Aadmi Party, but it left the field before the elections. Because of this women voted in favor of Congress. This time in Himachal, the voting percentage of women was 6% more than that of men.
Jobs : Himachal is called the state of employees, while the Jairam-led BJP government has failed to provide jobs in the last 5 years. The Congress party understood the gravity of the issue, so its leader Priyanka Gandhi promised that a decision to give 1 lakh jobs would be taken in the very first cabinet if the party formed the government. The Congress party has promised to provide 5 lakh jobs in 5 years.
Agniveer Scheme: A large number of youths from Himachal go to the army. The central government implemented the Agniveer scheme for army recruitment, due to which there was a lot of anger in Himachal. Priyanka Gandhi, who took command of the campaign on behalf of the Congress, openly opposed it in every rally and even said that this scheme will be closed if the Congress government is formed at the Center.
Voting on local issues, displeasure with the government
The people of Himachal preferred local issues instead of national-international issues in this election. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to all BJP leaders, in every rally, they kept counting the benefits of the double engine (central and state) government. Prime Minister raised national issues in 7 rallies.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh even indicated to take back POK. Despite this, the people of Himachal voted on local issues. Because of OPS, the votes of the employees and their families went in favor of the Congress. Youth was also angry with Jairam for not doing anything on the employment front in 5 years.
The people of Himachal had given indications of their displeasure towards the Jairam government in the 2021 by-elections in the state’s 3 assembly and Mandi parliamentary seats. Then BJP had to face defeat at the hands of Congress on these four seats, but the party leadership and the Jairam government did not take any lesson from it.
Backward BJP in the stronghold of veterans
The rebels could not convince Nadda: BJP National President JP Nad hails from Himachal but this time BJP could win only 3 out of 4 assembly seats in his home district, Bilaspur. While cutting the ticket of sitting MLA Subhash Thakur of Bilaspur Sadar, BJP gave ticket to State General Secretary Trilok Jamwal, then party’s Subhash Sharma rebelled here.
Nadda could not convince him and due to this Trilok Jamwal could win by only 282 votes. Jairam’s minister Rajendra Garg lost to Rajesh Dharmani of Congress in Ghumarwin seat. Minister Rikhiram Kaundal’s son Rajkumar Kaundal also rebelled before getting ticket for Jhanduta seat in Bilaspur district. BJP’s Randhir Sharma could win the Shrinaina Deviji seat by just 105 votes.
Due to the ignorance of Dhumal, the dust in his stronghold is clear: In Hamirpur, the home district of Union Minister Anurag Thakur and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, the BJP got swept away. Congress and 1 independent won 4 out of 5 seats here. This time Dhumal himself did not contest the election.
The Dhumal camp remained calm throughout the elections because during the last 5 years Nadda and CM Jairam Thakur kept the people of the Dhumal camp at bay. Despite this, Anurag Thakur held meetings continuously in Hamirpur parliamentary constituency, but Dhumal himself was not particularly active. There were discussions that even the Dhumal camp internally did not want the BJP to win the elections this time.
Successful at home, Jairam failed in the state: BJP won 9 out of 10 seats in CM Jairam Thakur’s home district Mandi but Jairam failed in the state. During his entire tenure, Jairam could not control the bureaucracy. Questions were raised on his administrative skills from the beginning. He could neither hold the government nor the party organization. Jairam was constantly in the dock regarding the appointments made during his tenure.
Poor performance and rude behavior of ministers
8 out of 10 ministers of the BJP government lost the elections. Suresh Bhardwaj, Ramlal Markanda, Virendra Kanwar, Govind Singh Thakur, Rakesh Pathania, Dr. Rajiv Saizal, Sarveen Chowdhary, Rajendra Garg were among the ministers who lost the election. Apart from CM Jairam Thakur, only Bikram Thakur and Sukhram Chowdhary, who were in his cabinet, could win the election.
In fact, there was a lot of resentment among the people regarding Jairam’s ministers. People complained that it was very difficult to reach these ministers. These ministers did not even get their important work done. On the work front too, the performance of these ministers was very poor. After the different surveys conducted before the allotment of tickets, there was talk of cancellation of tickets of many ministers.
Worse condition of AAP who ran away from the field
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which registered a record-breaking victory in Punjab in February-2022, started its campaign in Himachal with a bang, but as soon as the elections were announced, the enthusiasm of Kejriwal and company cooled down. AAP fielded candidates on 67 out of 68 seats here and their deposits were forfeited everywhere. By the time the elections were announced, all the leaders of AAP left Himachal and went to Gujarat.
In fact, there has always been a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP in Himachal and the use of the third option has never been successful here. Pandit Sukhram himself had formed his own party after displeasure with the Congress, but in the end he too had to merge it with the Congress. Kejriwal understood this before the elections. Apart from this, AAP did not even have such a face in Himachal, keeping the party in front of it to contest the elections.
necklace in apple belt
BJP suffered a crushing defeat in Upper Himachal and Apple Belt. He was in bad condition in Shimla, Kullu, Lahul-Spiti and Kinnaur. The Congress won in the tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul Spiti. The BJP’s sweep has been cleared in Solan. Congress also got 5 out of 8 seats in Shimla district. Apple growers were angry with the BJP for imposing GST on goods related to apple packing during the tenure of the Jairam government. He also did a long movement for this but the government did not listen. The party had to bear the brunt of this.
BJP’s bet of cutting tickets backfired
The BJP high command sensed the displeasure of the people towards the BJP MLAs in Himachal in time, but could not formulate a strategy to deal with it. The 10 sitting MLAs whose tickets were cut, rebelled on their own. Tickets were given to many such MLAs who were facing a lot of opposition. Even these people could not win. Minister Mahendra Singh Thakur, who has made a record of winning 7 consecutive elections from Dharampur seat, was given ticket to his son Rajat Thakur, but he also lost.
After ticket distribution, there was a rebellion in the BJP in 21 out of 68 seats in the state. In Kinnaur, former MLA Tejwant Negi contested independent election after not getting ticket and BJP lost there. Minister Rakesh Pathania lost the Fatehpur seat due to the rebellion of party vice-president Kripal Parmar. In Kullu and Manali seats too, BJP rebels played an important role in the defeat of party candidates. BJP rebel KL Thakur as an independent won the Nalagarh seat. The BJP was defeated by the Congress because of Indira Kapoor, who rebelled by first giving ticket to Chamba Sadar seat and then withdrawing it.
Shock in the biggest district Kangra
The BJP suffered a major setback in Kangra, the state’s largest district in terms of number of assembly seats. The party that wins in Kangra holds the power of the state. This time Congress won 10 out of 15 seats in Kangra district. The BJP could win only in Nurpur, Jaswan-Paragpur, Sulah and Kangra. Independent candidate Hoshiar Singh won the Dehra seat for the second time in a row. Before the elections, the BJP had inducted Hoshiyar Singh into the party, but did not give him a ticket. After this, Hoshiar Singh left the BJP and entered the independent field.
What next in Himachal…. Challenge to elect CM in front of Congress
The Congress, which won with full majority in the state, now faces the challenge of electing the leader of the legislative party. Kaul Singh Thakur and Asha Kumari, the contenders for the post of CM in Congress, have lost the elections. Now Congress State President and MP Pratibha Singh, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, Election Campaign Committee President Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and former Vice President Ramlal Thakur are contenders for the post of CM.