Questions for The Congress as Polls Predict BJP Win in Himachal
Exit polls have predicted a landslide victory for the BJP in Himachal Pradesh.
While we understand that these are just exit poll trends and not the final result, which is awaited on 18 December, there is reason for the Congress to be worried in the state.
Where was Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the leadership when 83-year-old Dhumal was campaigning for the party alone in Himachal? They seemed to have given up even before giving a real fight to the BJP on the ground.
Now if this was the strategy to let Singh campaign alone, thinking he would yield enough influence to help them form government? Then it might have backfired.
Corruption charges against the incumbent CM Virbhadra Singh made many headlines but the Congress leadership distanced themselves from Singh. Singh and his family’s repeated defence was that this was happening due to a personal vendetta the BJP had against them.
Should they have done more to betray those claims? After all, Virbhadra Singh was only an accused, not pronounced guilty by court.
Could they have dared to put another face as the contender to be Himachal’s CM? Well they could but then again who do they have? The Congress rarely ever has a number 2 to take on after a strong regional leader – a problem that the BJP has never had.
Not just these concerns, but the Congress also has to answer if they lost grip with certain ground realities.
Did they not take the fallout because of the Gudhiya rape case seriously? Or a serious lack of jobs in the education hub of Himachal, Solan? What about the apple industry which lakhs of people relied on? When around 50 percent of the production was affected by untimely hailstorm, then didn’t the Congress need to do more than just increase MSP by 0.25 paisa?
All these concerns were pertinent to win over their votes, but did the Congress do enough?
All this said, isn’t the Congress concerned about who the party will rely on after Virbhadra Singh? The Lok Sabha elections are in 2019 and the assembly elections in 2022, are they planning to continue to rely on Virbhadra Singh to help them win in the hill-state?
Yes, we understand these are only exit polls but the massive difference in the projection of seats scream worry for the Congress.