BJP steps up efforts to dislodge Congress government in HP
Buoyant over its triumph in the recently-concluded general assembly elections in four states, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stepped up its efforts to dislodge the Virbhadra Singh-headed four-year-old Congress government in Himachal.Updated: Apr 21, 2017 12:04 IST
Buoyant over its triumph in the recently-concluded general assembly elections in four states, Bharatiya Janata Party has stepped up its efforts to dislodge the Virbhadra Singh-headed four-year-old Congress government in Himachal.
BJP’s top brass went into huddle in New Delhi at Union health minister JP Nadda’s residence. Nadda is also the party’s national general secretary.
Political scenario emerging in the state, particularly after the by poll in Bhoranj that BJP won, was discussed. BJP candidate Anil Dhiman triumphed over Congress’s Pramilla Devi by over 8,000 votes. The party also discussed the growing unrest in the Congress party as many leaders are apparently in touch with the BJP.
The political grapevine has it that many Congress bigwigs are keen to switch over to the BJP. One of Congress’ chief parliamentary secretary had even posted on his Facebook page about Congress joining the BJP.
“Many Congress leaders are in touch with us. We will reveal our cards at an appropriate time,” state party chief Satpal Singh Satti told Hindustan Times. There is speculation that as many as half a dozen Congress legislators could defect to the BJP. According to sources, these include two ministers and chief parliamentary secretaries .
BJP is also trying to woo back two independent legislators — Pawan Kajal and Manohar Dhiman — who rebelled in the last assembly elections. Kajal is legislator from Kangra while Dhiman is the legislator from Indora.
Sources have told Hindustan Times that those wanting to join BJP are also seeking assurance from the party about their possible candidatures. The party is also drawing up its poll strategy as it is anticipating early polls in Himachal. Himachal governor Acharya Dev Vrat met Home minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Thursday and briefed him about the political scenario in Himachal .
Former Himachal CM Prem Kumar Dhumal too called on Rajnath Singh and later met Prime Minister Narender Modi, along with state party chief Satpal Singh Satti. Both invited Modi for a proposed meeting on historic Ridge in Shimla on April 27.
Modi’s visit comes close on the heels of the municipal elections, scheduled to be held next month. Those who attended the core group meeting included Satti, Prem Kumar Dhumal, JP Nadda, Lok Sabha members Ranswaroop, Virender Kasyap, party’s organising secretary Pawan Rana and party vice presidents Randhir Sharma and Rajiv Bindal.
Former rural development minister Jai Ram Thakur was also present.
BJP which is eager to wrest back power in Himachal and beleaguered chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s detractors have stepped up their activities, particularly after CBI filed a chargesheet against him and eight others in the money laundering case.
Congress leaders are demanding change in leadership prior to the assembly elections, due this year. Virbhadra was grilled by the enforcement directorate for over nine hours in New Delhi on Thursday.
HIMACHAL IN NUMBERS
Total members in assembly: 68
First Published: Apr 21, 2017 11:59 IST