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Delhi polls: CM, ministers campaign in Capital, secretariat wears deserted look

Hindustan Times, Shimla | By Gaurav Bisht
PUBLISHED ON JAN 28, 2020 11:24 PM IST

Assembly elections in New Delhi are high stake electoral battle for three main political parties— the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

With the BJP putting its might to win the Delhi assembly elections, Himachal Pradesh secretariat on Tuesday wore a deserted look as most ministers along with chief minister Jai Ram Thakur have left for the national capital to boost the party’s election campaign.

The BJP has deputed its MLAs to campaign for the party in New Delhi. The chief minister, who left for Delhi on Monday, addressed a public meeting at Shakur basti in support of party candidate VS Vats while newly elected state BJP chief Rajeev Bindal addressed corner meetings in Greater Kailash parliamentary segment in New Delhi. State education minister also campaigned for the party candidate in Chandni Chowk.

Only agriculture minister Ram Lal Markanda and panchayati raj and animal husbandry minister Virender Kanwar attended their office.

There are 10 cabinet berths for the council of ministers in Himachal of which two are lying vacant. The CM is under pressure from various quarters in his party to rejig the state cabinet.

Before leaving for New Delhi, the CM had said that the cabinet will be expanded after the Delhi assembly polls. He will be campaigning in New Delhi for almost a week.

In wake of busy schedule of ministers for the election campaign, the government has also deferred its flagship programme ‘Janmanch’. The programme that was scheduled for February 2 has now been postponed to February 9. The government has so far held 181 Janmanch programmes across the state since 2018.

The Ellerslie building at the secretariat that houses the office of chief minister, ministers and chief secretary wore a deserted look and only a few bureaucrats were present in the Arms Dale building which houses office of additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries, special secretaries, joint secretaries and deputy secretaries. Majority of the bureaucrats were either on winter vacation or were on an official tour.

Offices of BJP’s chief whip and former horticulture minister Narendra bragta was also deserted.

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