Does factionalism lead to defeat of Dhumal and party’s state chief?

Prem Kumar Dhumal (file photo). Image credit: the statesman.

–TMC Desk

Shimla, 19 December 2017: In a setback of sort for BJP amidst jubilation of Gujarat and Himachal electoral victory, the Chief Ministerial candidate of Himachal Pardesh Prem Kumar Dhumal lost Sujjanpur assembly seat at the hands of Congress candidate Rajinder Rana. Incidentally, party’s state president Satpal Singh Satti also lost to congress’ Satpal Singh Raizada in the Una constituency.

According to media reports, Mr Dumal reluctantly took up the challenge to fight the election from Sujjanpur instead of Hamidpur constituency.

The reports suggest that BJP high command was not so keen to announce him for the state’s top post; it was due to Dhumal connection and appeal among masses the party had to give up. Yet, he was forced to fight from Sujjanpur.

The loss has fuelled to the conspiracy theories that Mr. Dhumal was put up to fight from a tougher seat by the BJP, deliberately, so as he could lose election in order to make way for the party high command to handpick a leader of their choice.

These reports further confirmed the talks of factionalism in the state unit of the party according to which Health Minister J. P. Nadda is asserting himself against Dhumal faction.

Political observers are of the view that the defeat of two political heavyweights suggest that there was no Narendra Modi wave in the state as the prime Minister had himself addressed public meetings in both these constituencies. It was just the continuation of pattern in which people vote for alternative party.

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