Lambasting his party, Shanta recollects when Vajpayee said no to govt formation in HP in 1982, saying “We don’t traffick humans”

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Shanta Kumar

Vajpayee’s exact words were: “Mein zinda maas ka vyapar nahi karta. Mein nilaami nahi kharidunga”

The Hush Post: Former two-time Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP veteran Shanta Kumar has lambasted his own government for the goings-on in Karnataka, and for the level of politics being witnessed today.

He recollected an incident from the 1982 state assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh. He said, “In those elections, BJP had won 29 seats and Congress 31 seats in an assembly of 68 seats. Another six MLAs were independents,” said the former CM. It was almost a situation reminiscent of the present day Karnataka political development. “Another six MLAs and we would have formed the government,” he said. However, he added, “I never wanted the independent candidates to merge with BJP the way they desired.”

Shanta Kumar
Two-time CM of Himachal Pradesh, Shanta Kumar.

At that time, BJP was in its nascent stage. When Shanta apprised Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the situation he too endorsed Shanta’s idea. Vajpayee said that he does not deal human trafficking. His exact words were: “Mein zinda maas ka vyapar nahi karta. Mein nilaami nahi kharidunga.”

Vajpayee simply asked Shanta not to form the government. Later in a speech at Jaipur Vajpayee said that the people of Himachal want us to sit in the opposition. “We have two seats less than Congress and thus have no right to form the government ahead of Congress.”

How the times have changed since then, Shanta said.

Recently, BJP made governments in Goa and Meghalaya where BJP did not have a majority but cobbled up one with the help of other parties to keep Congress at bay.

In Meghalaya, BJP with 2 seats aligned with NPP and others to oust Congress the single largest party with 29 seats in an assembly of 60. In Goa too, Congress had 17 seats in an assembly of 30. But it was BJP with 14 seats, who with the help of Forward Party and MGP Marashtrawadi Gomantak Party which formed the government.

The Congress now has resorted to the BJP trickery. What BJP did to Congress in Goa and Meghalaya, Congress is going to the BJP.

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