Congress on back foot on the CD issue
HAMIRPUR:The bye election to Hamirpur Lok sabha seat may prove a trend setter for the next Vidhan sabha elections in the state of Himachal Pradesh. These elections are due in the months of January/February 2008. Congress is in power in the state these days and had won the 2003 Vidhan sabha elections by
claiming 42 out of 68 seats. BJP had won sixteen seats and rest of seats had been won by the independents and others.
The bye election has been necessitated due to unseating of Suresh Chandel of BJP in the cash for query scam issue. Chandel had won the 2004 Lok sabha election by a margin of 1,625 votes defeating Ram Lal Thakur of Congress party. Thakur is once again in the fray to take revenge with the BJP for his two defeats. However, this time he is pitted against another stalwart of the BJP, Prem Kumar Dhumal, the former chief minister of state.
Leaders and workers of both parties are doing their best to garner the support of the masses in favor of their respective candidates as they feel that which so ever party wins the elections that will go closer to the formation of its government in the state in year 2008.
The grant of party ticket to Prof. Dhumal with the assurance that he will also lead the party in the next Vidhan sabha election has helped the party cadre to work whole heartedly for the success of Dhumal. They says that if Dhumal wins the election to Lok sabha this time, it will also add to his popularity in the masses and he will become a major force to reckon with in the state at the time of next Vidhan sabha elections.
Moreover, the united face shown by the BJP has also helped the party this time. Perhaps, this is due to the pressure of the party high command which was highly upset the growing dissidence in the party for the last ten years. The party cadre feels that the unite at the top level will give a message to the people that BJP is a well knit organization and had the capacity to rule the state effectively.
Though the Congress has been intensively campaigning in all the seventeen assembly segments of the parliamentary constituency under chief minister, Vir Bhadra Singh yet the CD released by one of their leaders, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia, now suspended has put the party in the dock. The party has now become defensive and facing the back to wall situation in the area.
With just three days are left for the polling and two days for the ending of the campaign, the BJP seems to have taken an upper edge over Congress. The BJP leadership claims that it will get clear cut lead in all the seventeen assembly segments of the constituency.
This claim of BJP is, however, refuted by Sat Mahajan, the Himachal revenue Minister and election in charge for Hamirpur district of Congress party. He says that the victory of Congress is imminent as the people are for Congress.” The pro-people policies of the Congress has helped the party to get the support of Congress”, he told My Himachal today.
While the BJP is mainly banking upon its door to door campaign backed with the CD of Major Mankotia, the Congress is working on its own policies. The main issue of the Congress, the eradication of corruption from the society seems to have back fired after the release of the CD by major Mankotia as this CD is being played by the BJP at all places in the constituency. In fact, this CD has gone to all villages in the constituency and may harm the cause of the Congress.
Local issues coupled with the main issues of price rise, growing un-employment, worsening of law and order situation in the state and massive corruption at all levels has hit the inner core of the people of the constituency and they are giving a serious thoughts to whom vote for in the June 2 elections. They are keeping their options close to their chest and there seems to be an under current in favor of any political party. Who so ever wins the election, the margin seems to be more than previous elections if the mood of the electorate is taken into consideration.