Union Minister for Social Justice Thawar Chand Gehlot expressed confidence in the BJP emerging victorious in the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, due in December. Gehlot is the BJP’s in-charge in the state. Said Gehlot to THE WEEK, “Whenever the BJP organises rallies in Himachal, so many people come and watch it. Our workers are all charged-up and are working hard to get us a massive mandate. We expect to win around 55 seats. We are extremely confident.”
Gehlot said the chief minister of the state, Virbhadra Singh, is facing probes by various agencies and is completely corrupt. “Inspite of that, the Congress high command is allowing him to rule the state. The Congress in the state is in a deep mess. People of the state are fed up with it and are all set to throw out its government. Good days will begin for Himachal Pradesh soon,” said Gehlot.
In the current assembly, the Congress has 36 of the 68 seats and the BJP has 26.
Party president Amit Shah held a massive rally in Kangra. The intention was to gather 1 lakh youths from the state ahead of the elections. The BJP has not yet announced its CM candidate. Union minister J.P. Nadda, 56, is one of the favourites. Former chief minister Prem Kummar Dhumal, 73, is yet another favourite. Dhumal is the father of former BCCI president and BJP MP Anurag Thakur. “We will be going to the polls keeping PM Modi as the centre of our campaign. He is the main factor,” said Gehlot.
Power in Himachal has oscillated between the BJP and the Congress since 1990. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won all the four Lok Sabha seats in the state with massive margins.
Said Thakur Singh Bharmouri, state forest minister and senior Congress leader, to THE WEEK, "We are going to win maximum seats in the Himachal polls. The BJP will lose the elections. Nobody can challenge our government. We have performed well."