Himachal Pradesh elections 2022: Congress now only known for internal feuds, says Modi

Updated on Nov 10, 2022 03:29 AM IST

Himachal Pradesh elections 2022: “From the two states where the Congress is in power, you hear no news of development but only that of internal conflicts,” PM Narendra Modi said, referring to Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “Can a state develop in such a situation?”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chambi in Kangra on Wednesday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chambi in Kangra on Wednesday. (ANI)
By, Dharamshala

Wherever the Congress is in power, there is no development but only news of internal conflicts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday as he appealed to voters in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh to elect the Bharatiya Janata Party once more.

As the campaigning for the November 12 Himachal Pradesh assembly elections reached the final leg, Modi said the hilly state “is at a critical stage of development and needed a stable government that only the BJP can provide”. This was the PM’s 2nd visit to the state after the elections were declared. He had addressed two rallies at Sundernagar in Mandi and Solan on November 5.

“Only when Himachal Pradesh has a stable government will it overcome challenges and scale new heights of development,” Modi said, addressing a poll rally at Chambi in Shahpur constituency of Kangra district.

He also took a dig at the Congress, calling it “a party of corruption”.

“From the two states where the Congress is in power, you hear no news of development but only that of internal conflicts,” he said, referring to Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “Can a state develop in such a situation?”

Describing the opposition party as a “guarantee of instability, corruption and scams”, Modi said the Congress can never provide a stable government to Himachal.

Polling for the 68-member Himachal legislative assembly will be held on November 12 and the results will be announced on December 8.

Modi also accused the Congress of “insulting” the Army chief, likening soldiers to goons and raising questions on surgical strikes targeting terror camps in Pakistan. Our government implemented “one-rank-one-pension” while the Congress kept it pending for decades, he said.

“When people experience a BJP government, their trust grows and that is why it is elected to power again and again,” he said, referring to neighbouring Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP has retained power.

There is so much anger against the Congress that people of states it ruled for decades have not allowed it to set foot in them again, he added, citing the example of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Tripura, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Urging the people of Himachal to vote for a double-engine government (a term used for same party at the Centre and in the state), Modi said the Congress cannot fulfil their expectations. “You bid them goodbye five years ago, don’t allow them to enter again.”

“When there is continuity in government, it also becomes accountable to people,” he said, adding that during the Covid pandemic the double-engine government worked with a sense of responsibility and service.

He also accused the Congress of betraying the people of Himachal Pradesh.

“The people of Himachal are the biggest sufferers of the betrayal and deceit committed by Congress during their rule for many years. Whereas the BJP has made constant efforts to provide basic facilities to every doorstep of Himachal,” he said. “The people of Himachal have understood the reality of the Congress very well. Congress feels that Himachal will always run on its five-year formula,” Modi added, referring to the typical trend in the state where voters vote out the incumbent.

Calling the BJP “pro-development”, Modi said: “Today, Himachal Pradesh has got big projects such as the medical devices park and bulk drugs park that will create jobs, while four-lane (highway) projects will boost tourism.”

He further said: “AIIMS, IIM, IIT and medical colleges that were once a dream have become a reality.”

Hitting back, the Congress claimed that the BJP was getting “frustrated” sensing its defeat as polling day draws closer and accused the ruling party’s leaders of trying to divert attention from real issues.

“Before raising questions about the Congress, PM Modi should say what happened to the promise he had made to people of the state eight years ago,” said Naresh Chauhan, state media in-charge. “People of Himachal know their (BJP’s) truth and have decided to teach them a lesson in this election.”

Political analyst Priyabhishek Sharma said though PM Modi is a big factor in both central and state politics, it is the local issues that are more dominant in assembly elections.

“There is an undercurrent against the incumbent government which the BJP has failed to overcome. While PM rallies could swing votes a little bit, they would not make a large impact,” Sharma added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh K Thakur is a staff reporter in Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. Based at Dharamshala, he covers Tibetan affairs, local politics and environmental issues.

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