Post defeat, Dhumal asks workers to follow Modi mantra
At a time when embarrassing defeat in the Mandi bypoll have lowered the morale of the Bharatiya Janata Party, its opposition leader Prem Kumar Dhumal gave “Modi” mantra to infuse strength in the party while preparing them for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.Updated: Jul 03, 2013 23:27 IST
At a time when embarrassing defeat in the Mandi bypoll have lowered the morale of the Bharatiya Janata Party, its opposition leader Prem Kumar Dhumal gave “Modi” mantra to infuse strength in the party while preparing them for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“Time has come when the party will have to work on Narendra Modi's mantra to strengthen the party at the booth level,” said Dhumal while addressing the party office-bearers at Deep Kamal here on Wednesday.
Dhumal, one after another, cited examples on how Modi worked in Gujarat to expand the saffron party's base. “Loss of any kind is disappointing. Here we have lost the elections. The party can only win the next round of elections if each one of us keeps working with full spirit and strength,” said Dhumal, who told the party office-bearers to take inspiration from Modi's work.
“We can learn so many things from our campaign committee in charge Modi. We need to connect with more people at polling-booth level,” he said, while he recalled how Modi had worked in Himachal in 1995 when he was in charge of the party affairs.
Dhumal accused the Congress of using unfair norms to win the elections, what according to him was violation of democratic norms. “The party workers have done a commendable job fighting against the whole government machinery working in the elections,” Dhumal said, adding that defeat was always disappointing, but workers should remember that a bigger victory is waiting for them in future.
Stung by the defeat, BJP leaders dissected the reasons behind the huge victory margin of Congress candidate Pratibha Singh and blamed the Virbhadra Singh government for “gross” misuse of official machinery in the elections.
“It is hard to believe that landslide-hit Kinnaur district polled 54% votes, while Kullu constituency polled only 40% votes,” state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti said here after presiding over the meeting of office-bearers.
“Byelection in Mandi was a matter prestige for the Congress as chief minister Virbhadra Singh's wife was in fray. The government did whatever was possible to win the elections,” he added.
The party meeting that lasted for nearly five hours began on a sombre note as officer-bearers observed a two-minute silence to pay homage to the flood victims in both Uttarakhand and Kinnaur.
The state party chief appreciated the efforts of the Indian Army and rescue workers engaged in relief and restoration in the flood-hit area. Satti asked the party legislators to donate a month's salary for the flood-hit victims.
“The Congress wanted to win the election at any cost and misused power for the same,” BJP spokesperson Praveen Sharma alleged, adding that the Congress had set a bad precedent in the state using money power to win the elections.
Appreciating the party workers for their efforts, Satti said the Congress won the election only by misusing power and had failed to increase its vote bank.
“We should learn from this defeat and overcome the shortcomings keeping in the view the 2014 general elections,” said Satti.
Pratibha Singh arrives in Shimla
After landslide victory in the Mandi bypoll, Pratibha Singh, newly elected Lok Sabha member, arrived at her private residence “Holy Lodge” in Shimla on Wednesday.
Terming her victory as certification of people for the six-month Congress rule in the state, she expressed her gratitude to Sonia Gandhi, chairperson, United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress workers of Himachal.
Listing out priorities as a representative of Mandi, she said Railway line expansions and development of tourism industry in the state would be the main concern.
“Keeping topographical condition in mind, days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) should be increased from 100 to 200,” she added.