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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

HLP fails to make mark in HP politics

Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times  Dharamsala, December 20, 2012
First Published: 21:38 IST(20/12/2012) | Last Updated: 21:39 IST(20/12/2012)

Contrary to all the permutations made by poll pandits before the elections results, the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), the breakaway faction of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has failed to make a mark in Himachal politics.

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The new entrant in state politics could manage only one seat as party chief Maheshwar Singh won from Kullu constituency. Instead of the new political outfit, it was the independents who fared better in the assembly polls by bagging five seats.

The HLP went into the pre-poll alliance with left parties under the banner of “Him Lok Morcha” and had fielded its candidate from 42 assembly constituencies. However, despite of spoilsport on a few seats, the party failed to perform up to the expectations. Except Maheshwar Singh, all the big wigs including Shyama Sharma lost the elections.

A group of dissident leaders, led by Maheshwar Singh, had floated the HLP in February this year after partying way with the BJP, alleging corruption in the regime of the current government and ignorance of the dedicated leaders by state leadership.

Confident of getting the mandate at least to play a role of kingmaker, the HLP leader at that time had stated that the party would provide a third political alternative to the people of the state who were reeling under one corrupt regime after another.

The development was seen as a ramifications for both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress which had been plagued with dissidence.

Earlier, the same group had been campaigning against the alleged corruption in the regime of the BJP government of Bhrashtachar Mukti Morcha (BMM) for almost a year.

Enthusiastic over the early response from the public and support they got from their political mentor, Shanta Kumar, the HLP leaders were confident of winning at least five seats in the state. However, the HLP suffered a setback in the early stages as one of the prominent leader, Radha Raman Shashtri, parted ways with the party owing to differences with Maheshwar Singh and joined the Nationalist Congress Party (HLP).

The pre-poll alliance also failed to click as the HLP and left parties could not reach a common understanding in some constituencies and candidates from both sides contested the elections.

With the mandate the electors in state have once again shown that they believe in bipolar politics and a third party has no relevance in the state politics.


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