9 Dec 2022

Himachal Pradesh: What Were The Factors That Led to BJP's Defeat

In the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, the Congress party seems to be making a comeback and winning about 40 seats.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Thursday accepted defeat in the hill state as the BJP won 25 seats and got dethroned. The Congress, which was leading in a majority of 68 seats, won 40 of them according to the final results released by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
BJP lost although from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Union Home Minister Amit Shah held several rallies in Himachal Pradesh. BJP national president JP Nadda himself comes from Himachal. Let us see what factors led to Congress's victory.
In this election, Congress focused on local issues, while BJP, like in Gujarat or all other elections, appeared to be contesting elections on the basis of Narendra Modi's 'larger than life' image.
In this election, BJP was also facing anti-incumbency wave.
In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP also had to bear the brunt of the apathy of the Dhumal camp. Prem Kumar Dhumal has been the Chief Minister of the state twice so far.
But this time he decided not to contest the election. Many journalists asked him whether he was angry. In response to this, he said that he is a 'dedicated worker of the party'.
The biggest problem that BJP had to face in this election was probably the infighting within the BJP.
In this election, BJP suffered a lot due to infighting. At least ten BJP MLAs were denied tickets, most of them turned rebels and the total number of rebels has been between 19 and 21. While the number of Congress rebels has been around 10-12. 

The Congress had said in its manifesto that it will restore the old pension scheme in the state. This is an issue which is very important for both the rural and urban population of Himachal Pradesh.
Anger over the Agniveer scheme was also an important issue. In this election, the Congress party was also seen getting help from the Agniveer scheme of the central government. Every year thousands of youths try to get recruited in the Indian Army in Himachal Pradesh.
But the central government's Agniveer scheme has suddenly changed this equation.
Major Vijay Mankotia, who joined BJP just before the elections, had also expressed his concern about this scheme.
Agniveer was also a big issue in Kangra, Hamirpur, Una and Mandi. Because there are a lot of families in the army from here.

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