As many as 26 leaders of the Congress party, including Dharampal Thakur Khand, former general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee have joined the ruling BJP. Coming as a big jolt to the party, the leaders jumped the boat in the presence of Jairam Thakur and BJP state elections in charge Sudhan Singh.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur made light of the Himachal Pradesh “convention” of electing a new party every assembly poll and predicted that the BJP was set to be in government in the state over the next 25 years.
The hill state has a history of alternating between the Congress and the BJP in every assembly election since 1982.
BJP president JP Nadda also claimed that the state will join Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in re-electing his party, and dismissed AAP’s challenge in the hill state and Gujarat, saying it has a history of making a lot of noise during polls but ends up losing even deposit in most seats.
Nadda also urged voters to cast their choices not on the basis of emotions, but by keeping their future in mind and there opt for good “malis” to watch over their gardens. Nadda accused the Congress of trying to confuse the voters on a range of issues, saying “those who have nothing to show always tend to confuse the voters and undermine the democratic process”.
AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed the Congress’ ‘Parivartan Pratiksha Rally’ at Una in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh today. Slamming the BJP’s call for a double-engine government, she asked what they were doing for the last five years. “Was there no oil in their double-engine before this?” she asked while raising issues of drug menace, unemployment and demand for the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) in the state.”
Congress also challenged the BJP to spell out the promises it has fulfilled instead of making fresh ones ahead of the Himachal Pradesh polls, and said it should seek votes from people based on its report card and not on its manifesto. Senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot said that the people of Himachal will say “Jai Ram ji ki” to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
With inputs from News18, PTI