This Christmas is likely to be a politically eventful one for Himachal Pradesh. The Congress, which completes a year in the state assembly on December 25, is going to celebrate its first year in power in Hamirpur - a constituency that has been with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 16 years now.
With the Lok Sabha elections approaching, the venue of the event has been chosen keeping in mind the BJP's hold on the Hamirpur parliamentary seat. The Congress would be trying to woo voters in Hamirpur; it also plans to showcase its might on the occasion.
Congress leader and irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes has been made responsible for organising the event. Chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who took oath on December 25, last year will list his achievements at the event. However, there is not much to write home about when it comes to support from the Congress-led Centre. During the event, it is likely that the BJP would be targeted by Congress leaders.
“No stone is being left unturned to make the rally a success; it will be the government's first major function in Hamirpur in about a year,” said a senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named.
Himachal Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, who also hails from Hamirpur district, said preparations were in full swing. Apart from party functionaries, the entire Himachal cabinet will be present on the occasion.
Chief minister (CM) Virbhadra Singh is also expected to announce schemes for wooing voters in Hamirpur. Since the Congress took over the reins of the state legislature from the BJP last year, the saffron party has been accusing the Congress of meting out step-motherly treatment to Hamirpur district.
Hamirpur parliamentary seat has been with the BJP since 1998 and is the home district of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. At present, Dhumal's son Anurag Thakur represents it.