The Bharatiya Janta Party taking lead in the parliamentary elections in all five assembly segments of the district has exposed some of the front line leaders of the District Congress Committee of misleading the party brass and poll managers over the ground realities.
The BJP's unexpected lead in the all five segments may further widen the gulf between two warring factions of the Congress in the district.
The decision of the Congress poll managers to go to the polls by sidelining leaders having strong mass base not only proved a leap in the dark, but also provided an opportunity to the BJP to wipe out the Congress.
The decimation happened even though chief minister Virbhadra Singh rewarded large number of his loyalists with important posts and memberships in various bodies.
Virbhadra had appointed his supporters like Ramesh Thakur as chairman of the District Agriculture Produce Market Committee; Arun Sharma as chairman of the Baghat Urban Cooperative Bank; Mohan Mehta as chairman of Jogindra Cooperative Bank; Hardeep Bawa as chairman of the State Construction Building Board; and Jainab Chandel as chairperson of the State Women Commission; besides induction of a large number of loyalists as non-official members and directors of various boards and corporation and related bodies. However, all these failed miserably to garner the support of the common man in the elections.
The humiliating defeat - the party had never ever faced such a situation in the past - has virtually routed the Congress' image on the ground.
As the counting is in progress: BJP' Virender Kashyap is leading by 8,849 votes in the Arki segment; in Solan, where social justice and empowerment minister DR Shandil is sitting a legislator, it is leading by 5,372 votes; in Kasuali 4,734; in Nalagarh 17,526; and in Doon constituency by12,174 votes.
Interestingly, the BJP had won the Kasauli assembly seat by a margin of 24 votes as sitting Congress' Doon MLA was in an Ambala jail in connection with the Jyoti murder case.
“Certain party leaders not only shook hands with the rivals in the elections, but also mislead the poll managers about the day-to-day situation,” said a senior Congress leader on condition of annonimity.
He said some of the party workers and front line leaders did not campaign actively for the candidates neither made required efforts to educate the masses about the developmental works carried out during the party's rule.
On the top of it, ineffectiveness of officers posted without consulting senior leaders also led to resentment among the people, he added.
He, however, admitted that disinterest shown by the party's front line leaders by passing the buck over people's problems in their respective constituencies and soaring prices were also remained strong factors behind the party's humiliating defeat.
“Today's victory is triumph over corruption, wrong and anti-people policies of the UPA government as well as the Virbhadra Singh-led government in Himachal. The clear mandate has virtually exposed the duel face of the Congress, which always used the electorates to capture power,” said BJP's Virender Kashyap.