With the Himachal state assembly elections already in process, people of the state are unhappy with the role of the Congress and the BJP both for not announcing the names of their leaders who will lead the party in the assembly elections.
The BSP has already taken a lead in this respect by naming Major Vijay Singh Mankotia as its leader and future chief minister in case the party comes to power in state. The party has been contesting the elections on its own on all the sixty-eight seats fully knowing that it has no chance to form the government on its own.
However, both the major parties, the BJP and the Congress have yet not made their options clear on this issue. Congress is in power in the state with Mr. Vir Bhadra Singh as the chief minister. However, a section of Congress persons are opposed to him and are projecting Mrs. Vidya Stokes, the state Power Minister as the future chief minister of party. Mrs. Stokes is a powerful minister and has close links with Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the All India Supremo of the Congress. And perhaps this is the main reason that R.K.Dhawan, the party in charge for the state affairs has once again clarified that it will not project any one as the future chief minister of the state.
The BJP is also facing the same situation. The party leadership has yet not named its leader despite repeated demands by the workers and district/mandal level leaders. These persons are of the view that the party can win the seats hands down once a leader is projected.
The party is in a dilemma over the choice for the leader. Two former chief ministers, Prem Kumar Dhumal and Shanta Kumar are the obvious choice for this coveted post. However, the party high command is yet to make a final choice between them.
Prof. Dhumal has proved his hold in the state by winning the bye election to Hamirpur Lok sabha seat by 80,059 votes and leading in fifteen out of seventeen assembly segments of the Hamirpur Lok sabha seat at a time when the BJP was losing all such elections from where the previous BJP MP was unseated on the issue of cash for query scam issue.
Insiders in the party told this reporter that a lobby in the party is opposed to the idea of naming the leader before elections. This group feels that the time has come when all leaders and workers should work unitedly and once the new house is elected, the issue of leadership is decided.
However, the grass root workers of the BJP are highly upset and annoyed with the party leadership for not taking timely decision on this issue.