Poll scene hots up in Himachal as mercury plummets in Shimla

Analysts give BJP edge over Cong, but say tough contest on cards

Poll scene hots up in Himachal as mercury plummets in Shimla
The campaign scene is hotting up Himachal Pradesh, which goes to the polls on November 7.

The candidates have just 12 days left for the canvassing.

The campaign period is the shortest this time, compared to the last four Assembly elections. Otherwise, this election is no different and offers a direct fight between the Congress and the BJP. An alternative narrative that may have been put forth by a third front has remained elusive since long.

Governments don’t repeat office in Himachal, at least that has been the electoral history of this state since long.

The Congress government faces anti-incumbency, while the BJP is yearning to be back in power after five years. The Congress has 36 MLAs in a House of 68.

The BJP has 26. As the minimum temperature begins to plummet to around 5-6 degree Celsius in state capital Shimla these days, the political heat is on the rise.

For now, political analysts give the saffron party the edge even as they suggest that the battle for power will be a tough one.

The BJP is going hammer and tongs, raking up the corruption taint attached to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his family.

They dub him as a “zamanati” (out on bail), while hammering the chief minister’s disproportionate assets that are now under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax authorities.

Breakdown of law and order, poor public health system, “mafia raj” and lack of development are the BJP’s major poll planks.

The Congress is banking on what it claims has been phenomenal development in the last five years.

Both Virbhadra Singh and former BJP chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal have preferred not to contest from their traditional seats of Shimla (Rural) and Hamirpur, respectively.

The poll code will remain in force for 69 days, up to December 20.

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