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India

Himachal Has Decided, India Will Know On Dec 8

Himachal recorded 65.50 per cent polling till 5:00 pm. The polling percentage will be revised by late evening. Sirmaur district recorded the highest voting with 70 per cent reaching out to vote, Solan recorded 68 per cent polling, Una also recorded 68 per cent votes while Lahaul Spiti recorded 67 per cent polling.

Assembly Elections 2022 (Image used For Representation) (File Photo)
Assembly Elections 2022 (Image used For Representation) (File Photo)

Chandigarh: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to retain power in the hill state of Himachal riding on optics and self-proclaimed laurels some of which seemingly may have paid off in the past in other states rather than on performance.

Several national leaders flew to the hill state listing the achievements of the saffron party such as the construction of the Ram Temple, Balakot strikes, Surgical strikes in Pakistan, and revocation of Article 370 which provided special status to Jammu and Kashmir among other things.

Unfortunately, the BJP wasn’t able to displace the narrative set by the voters which Congress clung to with both hands – the issue of the revival of the Old Pension Scheme, which, as the voters went to the polls, have a pan-Himachal appeal. The other issues are inflation, joblessness, GST on apples, and Agniveer among others.

Congress has already said that it will implement the OPS as soon as it comes to power. And in support of their appeal, it has in most rallies given the example of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where the Congress-ruled government has already implemented it. What goes to its discredit is that it hasn’t harped on the issue of inflation which was the major reason why BJP was wiped out in all four seats in the 2021 bypolls in Himachal.

Himachal Chief Minister Jai Thakur has often sidestepped both the issues — the revival of OPS, and inflation.

Also Read: Himachal Assembly Elections: World’s Highest Polling Station ‘Tashigang’ Recorded 98.085 Percent Polling

He has on many occasions exhorted the people of Himachal that they should vote BJP to power to bring back the double-engine government. However, people say, they could only see a single engine functioning throughout these five years. 

Most of the achievements listed by the state BJP leaders can be attributed to the Centre, in particular, to PM Narendra Modi such as the opening of the Atal Tunnel, which has made the tourist destination of Lahaul Spiti more approachable and reduced the distance for the locals by four to five hours, the inauguration of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bilaspur and flagging off of Vande Bharat Una-Delhi train are definitely a feather in the cap for the BJP.

BJP essentially thinks that by answering wrong questions they can stop the right ones from emerging. And the right ones as mentioned above are OPS, inflation, joblessness, Agniveer, GST on apples among others.

Fortunately for the Congress which is casual in its approach as always, it is the anti-incumbency that may get them close to wresting the power rather than their strategy to win. Rahul Gandhi was focused on Bharat Jodo yatra of which strangely Himachal was not a part, Priyanka Vadra addressed just five rallies in the hill state, Mallikarjun Kharge came, addressed one rally, and went; the soft-spokeness in his speeches fell on deaf ears.

Kharge’s presence was akin to former CM of West Bengal Jyoti Basu’s in Shimla once in 1993 when at a rally in support of the CPI(M) candidate from Shimla assembly segment, people could not understand a word of his intellectual jargon as he tried to make people understand what is GATT agreement. If despite such failings of the Congress, it manages to win, it will have to thank the voters for providing the issues which had a pan-Himachal appeal and the BJP for one failed engine.

Himachal records 65.50 per cent voting turnout

Himachal recorded 65.50 per cent polling till 5:00 pm. The polling percentage will be revised by late evening. Sirmaur district recorded the highest voting with 70 per cent reaching out to vote, Solan recorded 68 per cent polling, Una also recorded 68 per cent votes while Lahaul Spiti recorded 67 per cent polling.

In Mandi 66 per cent people came out to vote and in Shimla 65 per cent people came out to vote. In Hamirpur, 65 per cent voters came out to vote while Kangra saw 64 per cent turn out and Kinnaur the lowest 62 per cent. Bilaspur saw 65.72 per cent voting  and Chamba and Kullu saw 63 per cent and 65 percent respectively.