Himachal Congress MLAs meet to decide CM in Shimla today
Congress put up an impressive show in the 2022 Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections by winning 40 seats of the total 68 and relegating its principal rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to 25 seats on Thursday. The grand old party has now called a meeting of its newly-elected MLAs in Shimla on Friday to decide on the new chief minister.
Why does this story matter?
- Earlier, when Congress was emerging as the winner during the counting of votes, it called all its MLAs to Chandigarh, to prevent the poaching of its leaders by the BJP. But it later changed plans as it secured a clear majority.
- The party was looking at avoiding a hung Assembly, which would have opened doors for the BJP to usurp power by horse-trading.
Rajeev Shukla, Bhupesh Baghel, Bhupinder Hooda observers for the meeting
Congress's Himachal Pradesh in-charge Rajeev Shukla said that the party directed him along with Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader Bhupinder Hooda to attend the meeting of the MLAs. Outgoing CM Jairam Thakur conceded defeat and tendered his resignation to the governor after the people of Himachal Pradesh perpetuated the trend of oscillating between the BJP and Congress in each term.
BJP rebels hurt the party's vote share
Himachal Pradesh, which is the home state of BJP's national president JP Nadda and Union minister Anurag Thakur, saw party rebels fighting on at least 21 seats. Although only two of them won, the others garnered significant votes which, if not for the mutiny, would have gone to the BJP. Before the polls, Jairam Thakur oversaw 26 leaders from Congress joining the BJP.
Congress leaders credit Priyanka Gandhi for the win
Congress leaders credited the electoral win to the party's general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who helmed the poll campaign in the state. She took out several rallies and was reportedly involved in strategizing for the elections. This is her first electoral success as a campaign in charge after a drubbing in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls earlier this year.
Consensus on CM will be a challenge
MLAs will choose their leader, the decision will be informed to party's high command. I'm not saying that I'm in the race for CM but we've won this poll in the name of late Virbhadra Singh. You can't neglect him his family: Himachal Congress President, Pratibha Virbhadra Singh pic.twitter.com/5qe73LnZ4L— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2022