Contrary to all the calculations by poll pundits before the elections results were declared, the Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP), the breakaway faction of the outgoing BJP, failed to make a mark in Himachal politics.
The new entrant in state politics got only one seat, with party chief Maheshwar Singh winning from Kullu constituency. Instead of the new political outfit, it was Independents who fared better, bagging five seats.
The HLP went into the pre-poll alliance with Left parties under the banner of Him Lok Morcha and fielded candidates in 42 constituencies. However, despite playing spoilsport in a few seats, the party failed to perform.A group of dissident leaders led by Maheshwar Singh floated the HLP in February this year after parting ways with the BJP, alleging corruption in the regime of the outgoing government and ignorance about dedicated leaders among the state’s top brass.
Confident of getting a mandate to play kingmaker, the HLP leader had said that the party would provide a third political alternative to the people of the state who were reeling under one corrupt regime after another.
Enthusiastic about the initial response from the public and support 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 of campaigning as one of its prominent leaders, Radha Raman Shastri, left the the party owing to differences with Maheshwar Singh and joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).