The Hush Post: With the voter share of 48.8 per cent, this is the highest the Bharatiya Janta Party has been able to get in the hill state in terms of vote per centage. And this is also a cause of concern for the Himachal Congress, more so since Virbhadra Singh is in his last leg of politics and at 84 years the likelihood of his giving it another go is zilch.
More importantly, he did not cultivate any Congress leader in the state in the past decades. As a result, the party is mostly in news for infighting mostly between the Virbhadra camp and those against him like the HP Congress president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, and former minister GS Bali while the likes of Vidya Stokes have already called it a day. And Asha Kumari and Vijay Singh Mankotia, who political observer in the state say can carry on the mantle, have often found themselves sidelined.
BJP on the other hand, is in young hands of Jai Ram Thakur, in his early 50s and Satpal Satti, the state president in his 40s with little bickering whatsoever. A lot what seen post the elections, but the central observers played such a role that all the heavyweights including the likes of Dhumal and Nadda were made to toe the party line. “And this is clear from the fact that Dhumal himself proposed Jai Ram’s name and another aspirant Nadda seconded it,” said a party insider not willing to get named. “Can you ever see this happen in Congress?”
Dhumal, who a lot of people said wanted to emulate Virbhadra’s feat and had become ambitious to become the CM third time, had almost become to self centered. At 73, BJP did not think him to be the right candidate for the job and he was made to understand that in polite terms. So while BJP has got rid of the plus 70-brigade who were adhesed to their chairs, in Congress, the plus-80 brigade is at the helm.
However, a cause of concern for the BJP and the comparatively younger Jai Ram is that 23 of its MLAs have criminal cases against them compared to six candidate of the Congress. Also, the inexperience of being at the top will be in deep focus of one and all.