The mood can be called nothing less than jubilant for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after winning the elections in Himachal Pradesh. This is their third victory in the State Assembly elections after the Gujarat and Punjab elections.
Out of the 68 member assembly, BJP managed to bag 41 seats. Congress, led by five-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, had to settle for 23 seats. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won 1 seat and the rest 3 went to independent candidates. For Prem Kumar Dhamal of BJP, this is the second tenure as the Chief Minister of the state. He will be sworn in as the Chief Minister in Shimla on December 30 at 11am.
The newly appointed chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal has asserted that the new regime will give new direction to the development of the state and open opportunities for the youth. He also claimed that the very first priority will be to provide aid to those employees and workers who suffered under the corrupt ‘Congress rule’. “We will take action in all the corruption cases that took place during the previous regime and also action against the officers who were involved in corrupt practices. But there will be no political victimization or vendetta.” said Dhumal.
L.K Advani sees the year 2008 as a “parivartan year” for the party. For the first time, the party is hoping to form government in the south. BJP president Rajnath Singh said, “The issue of price rise, trustworthiness of our policies, our clear ideology and ‘corruption’ in the congress government helped BJP win.”
With less than eighteen months left for the general elections, the tables seem to be turning. After defeat in the 2004 elections, BJP looks determined for a comeback. The Gandhi formula did not show any fruitful result in the Gujarat elections. Despite rigorous attempts by Sonia Gandhi and the much famous mudslinging, Modi emerged victorious. For the Himachal Pradesh campaigning, UPA did not seem to try that hard and yet they won by a grand majority. Much can be credited to their promise of eradicating unemployment in India.
With Karnataka and other elections in the waiting, nothing much can be said right now. Only the elections ahead will decide.