Vishal Sarin/ Shimla, Dec 10
Prime Minister Narinder Modi, who had been spearheading the campaign and was being projected as the face on which the BJP contested the 2022 Vidhan Sabha polls got defeated in Himachal Pradesh. PM Modi not only visited the hill state a dozen times in the past 11 months, but also tried most cards from his armoury to win this poll. From terming the Devbhoomi as his second home, to raising the issue of corruption under previous Congress regimes, notifying hatee community, innaugration of AIIMS in Bilaspur, Drug park at Una, all put together could not fetch victory for the Charismatic BJP.
Wherein Jairam Thakur was the local face of the party, yet the saffron banked on publicity campaigns by central leadership to fetch victory.
Not just the Prime Ministee, Home.minister Amit Shah, and party National president JP Nadda, too, tried their best to change tradition in the state, but it could’nt be done. Rather the National president could barely safeguard his own home district by a 3-1 to opposition Congress, with Bilaspur sadar falling to them after a stiff fight by Bumber Thakur.
During pre poll field visit this writer met a number of citizens of the state who had started feeling that the Prime Minister’s Charisma might not work in hill state. They told us that he had been visiting places like any local MLA, which was not expected from a PM.
Moreover the BJP which remains in election mode 24×7, ignored the likes of PK Dhumal and Shanta Kumar. This can be gauged from the results of Hamirpur and Kangra, where Saffron won barely a few seats. Winning 4 out of the total 20 seats in these two districts clearly indicate that infighting and leadership vaccum from these areas, costed the saffron the polls.
Moreover experimentation of changing constituencies and putting new faces for old ones, too costed the National ruling party.
A few political commentators state that it is not the Congress which has won, but the BJP has lost this poll. Perhaps yhey are right in gauging this fact. A leaderless Congress could not have posed the fight, unless issues like OPS, inflation, hike in gas cylinder would not have caught traction amongst citizens. The infight bound Congress could not have achieved the 40 mark if they were to contest based on their political leadership’s startegy.
It is evident also as even after more 48 hours of result annoucemeng, the grand old Congress is still devising a formula to shortlist a able and acceptable CM candidate, who can strike the cords equally amongst all.