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Tough road ahead for Virbhadra govt

punjab Updated: Dec 08, 2013 19:18 IST
Gaurav Bisht

Bharatiya Janata Party's unprecedented victory in the four states has not only come as morale booster for the saffron party in the state, but the outcome of the assembly elections in four major states may force the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government to walk a tightrope in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

While jubilations broke out in the BJP camp, Congress workers were far more than demoralised as television channels flashed the resounding win of the BJP in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In Delhi and Chhattisgarh, the saffron party emerged as the single largest group.

With the BJP sure to mount more pressure on the ruling Congress over scores of issues related to corruption and development in the state, chief minister Virbhadra Singh now has bigger responsibility to ensure that his party wins all four Lok Sabha seats in the state, even though he has been concentrating more on Mandi Lok Sabha seat represented by his wife Pratibha Singh. Currently, the BJP holds three of the four seats.

The BJP, which had been lying low ever since its defeat in the assembly elections, will now escalate its attacks and pressure on the Congress government, whether be it Virbhadra Singh's actions in the past one year or the functioning of his government.

What will make government more vulnerable to attack is the lukewarm support it has got from its own Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government during the past one year.

Virbhadra has been constantly urging the Centre to grant financial aid, as the state's fiscal health has been deteriorating fast.

However, the central government is yet to reciprocate to the state's request for `2,200 crore financial aid for the areas ravaged by rain-triggered landslides in tribal Kinnaur and Sirmaur districts of the state.

It's been six months the Centre has not yet released a single penny for losses caused by rain in the state.

The first trailer of the increased attacks will be seen during the upcoming winter session of assembly which will possibly be the last session before the next Lok Sabha elections and the saffron party will try to score big in the house.

“We will put some tough questions on the ruling Congress government and would gherao the government on various people centric issues, including price rise, corruption and mass-scale victimisation of employees in the state by frequent transfer and postings,” said a senior BJP leader.

State BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti admitted that with good results in the assembly elections, party workers in the state would be galvanised and the party would try to capitalise on the energy of grassroots booth-level workers.

“We will expose the state government and the UPA government at the Centre in the assembly and in the time to come. The party is being strengthened from state to block level and booth level meetings are being held,” said Satti.

The Virbhadra Singh government will complete one year in power on December 25. The Congress government has strategically chosen former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's home turf Hamirpur to mark its one-year rule. It's been 17 years since the Congress candidate had won the Hamirpur parliamentary seat.
As state Congress chief Sukvinder Singh Sukhu hails from Nadaun, the party is trying to brace up its cadres. Relations between Virbhadra Singh and Sukhu have been uneasy and the fact is known to everyone.