Nadda’s strategic H.P visit: BJP’s power play or putting house in order?
Shimla, June 15
Jagat Prakash Nadda, the National President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), recently undertook a significant visit to Himachal Pradesh, marking a strategic move to consolidate the party’s power in the state and counter the opposition. During his three-day visit to Jasur of Kangra, Jhanduta in Bilaspur and Dhalpur in Kullu district, Nadda addressed party meetings, made key alliances, and hinted at changes in candidate selection, all with the goal of strengthening the BJP’s position in upcoming elections.
Nadda’s visit commenced with a rally in Kangra, where he outlined the BJP’s ambitious plan to establish contact with eight lakh households in Himachal Pradesh before the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. By emphasizing the achievements of the Narendra Modi-led central government, he aimed to bolster the party’s support base and ensure a strong showing in the upcoming polls. However here Major Vijay Singh Mankotia who joined BJP in last assembly elections did not turnout in the BJP public meeting.
He criticized the Congress party for alleged financial mismanagement, highlighting the BJP’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. Nadda also attacked Congress party for indulging in dynastic politics.
However reading between the lines (dynastic politics) of the BJP National president’s statement, indicates that party could deny tickets to candidates like Kishan Kapoor from Kangra, Suresh Kashyap from Shimla and Anurag Thakur from Hamirpur. It is worthwhile to mention that speculations are that party may put Vipin Kumar or Congress rebel Harsh Mahajan in the fray. Though, according to media reports Mahajan considered close to Congress Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu therefore Vipin Kumar Parmar could be contesting from Kangra Parliamentary.
Reconciling differences, Nadda at a night halt in Hamirpur met with former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in Hamirpur was a crucial step in bridging divides within the house. The meeting perhaps, must have been sought to address the perceived side-lining of Dhumal by the Modi government and the party’s previous electoral loss due to the lack of consultation with the former Chief Minister.
Insiders hint that Nadda who met with Dhumal at Hamirpur circuit house may have discussed the party’s strategy to field him from Lok Sabha Hamirpur, replacing Anurag Thakur to be in place of Kiran Kher from Chandigarh. However party did not disclose anything officially and this prediction is confined to political circles. Moreover, BJP has also successfully launched a Dalit face in the party Prof Sikandar Kumar from Hamirpur by making him Rajya Sabha member.
Even, Nadda’s visit to Jhanduta in Bilaspur and Dhalpur in Kullu districts demonstrated the party’s strategic considerations for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The absence of certain party members, such as Brigadier Kushal Thakur, hinted at potential replacements like Maheshwar Singh or former Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, showcasing the BJP’s intention to position strong candidates in crucial constituencies.
Reasons being speculated for keeping two options at Mandi is that there is a under hand impression both in Congress and BJP, that party president Pratibha Singh and former CM Jai Ram Thakur had an understanding in Mandi Parliamentary bye election and 2022 assembly elections. Congress won Mandi Parliamentary and BJP won assembly by winning nine out of 10 seats in Mandi district. Congress scored victory in fourteen assemblies out of total 17 in bye election but it lost on 14 and could win three seats in assembly elections.
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Further during his visit Nadda also recognized the importance of grassroots support. He focused on rejuvenating the party’s presence at the booth level. Through the launch of membership apps and the induction of new workers, the BJP aimed to galvanize its eroded base and cultivate a stronger ground-level network.
Commenting about this visit political analyst’s state that though BJP president tried to strike some balance, but if the effort was to try to unite the scattered party in the state, it is too late, too little. They added that party leaders like Jawahar Thakur and Former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar are openly firing salvos at the state leadership for debacle and misleading party high Command. After losing bye-polls, then assembly, and latest Shimla MC, now leaving the Shimla parliamentary seat on State President Rajiv Bindal, it seems saffron party has given up on this parliamentary seat, totally, they concluded.
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