The outgoing BJP government held its last Cabinet meeting on Friday and recommended a resolution to dissolve the Himachal Pradesh Assembly. Later CM Dhumal submitted his resignation to the Governor Urmila Singh. To ascertain the reasons for the party’s narrow defeat in the assembly election, Dhumal and few other senior BJP leaders held a meeting at his residence. Though nothing new came out from this meeting, yet all of them believed that the poor show in Shimla and Kangra district is one and strong reasons for it. BJP got just 3 seats out of 15 in Kangra and won the lone seat of Shimla urban out of the 8 seats. However, BJP has done exceptionally well in other districts.
Party leaders are also blaming the faulty distribution of tickets at many places and factionalism for the party’s defeat. It is learned that the party men are squarely blaming senior national vice president Shanta Kumar for the defeat. Few party leaders are blaming that Shanta Kumar had fanned defection from the party to the Himachal Lokhit Party and was responsible for giving ticket to some lightweights instead of winnable candidates in Kangra.
He had say in ticket distribution in Kangra district and allotted ticket to his supporters in Dharamsala, Jawalamukhi, Baijnath, Palampur, Sulah, Indora, Nurpur, Nagrota Bagwan and Jawali and all these candidates lost election. One Dhumal’s supporter claimed that Prem Kumar Dhumal did not get even a formal request from these candidates to canvass in their constituencies and he subsequently had avoided campaigning there.
On the narrow defeat, Dhumal himself said that “just four seats in Kangra could have brought us back to power.” He believes that few strong decision during his tenure could have make difference in the election. He believed that if BJP had gone ahead with its plan to trifurcated Kangra by carving out new districts of Nurpur, Dehra and Palampur, the BJP would have swept Kangra by winning at least 12 seats. However he indirectly blamed Shanta Kumar faction for dropping it. He also remarked that the Congress would in all likelihood now create new districts in Kangra.
Prem Kumar Dhumal also said that the wrong distribution of the ticket and the infighting within the party, especially in Kangra district, dealt a severe blow to BJP’s chances of returning to power. The outgoing Chief Minister said another reason that also marred the party’s chances was the tussle that broke out within the party cadres on seeing the bright prospects of the BJP making “Mission Repeat” a success.
Dhumal lauded the achievements in his tenure and feels that subsidized ration and several welfare schemes like free school uniforms, free ambulance service, pension and financial benefits to employees’ virtually insulated people of the state from the price rise. He claimed that he has tried to deliver maximum possible and tried to help out even those who did not approach him.