AP
Joy in Dharamshala Congress jubilation
Cover Story
On A Bit Of A High
The hill kingdom was only cause for cheer for Congress
COMMENTS PRINT
gujarat polls
The Gujarat strongman does it thrice in a row. More modest than he’d have liked, but he’ll no doubt make a play for India’s top job.
Saba Naqvi
gujarat polls
Will the Congress finally ask itself tough questions now?
opinion
The Congress is left to count its gains; Modi’s success infuses a certain piquancy into the choices the NDA has to make in the run-up to 2014
Harish Khare
rss and modi
Modi’s big bang victory has neutralised, at least for now, the Sangh’s opposition to him
Prarthna Gahilote
Interview
Once a force to reckon with in the BJP, the man who called Vajpayee a mukhota
Panini Anand
opinion
By plotting a development course, Modi created pro-incumbency
Nirmala Sitharaman
victims
Amidst all the cheer for Narendra Modi, dissenting voices—not just Muslims, but Gujaratis of all backgrounds.
Panini Anand
muslims
A climate of fear combined with Congress ineptitude drove Muslims to Modi
Pragya Singh
Interview
The director of Final Solution, a searing documentary on the 2002 genocide of Muslims in Gujarat
Namrata Joshi
women/youth
Modern, city-dwelling women of Gujarat adore Modi and seem to think he can do no wrong
Neha Bhatt
women/youth
Why Modi is a powerful magnet for young men and women
Priyadarshini Sen
opinion
Only one voice in Gujarat, said the visiting prince. How wrong he was.
Shiv Visvanathan
the middle class
Arch-deliverer of progress: Modi fits the bill. The middle class wants nothing more.
Debarshi Dasgupta
Modi & india inc
Big industry, Modi feed off each other in win-win relationship
Lola Nayar
MEDIA
Modi made it impossible for the media to ignore him
Anuradha Raman
Cover Story/ opinion
Anti-Modi crusaders run their rabid campaigns blindfolded
Madhu Purnima Kishwar

Just two hours after counting began at 8 am, the BJP was already trailing the Congress in Himachal Pradesh. By 11 am, incumbent chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had conceded defeat, welcoming the “people’s decision”. BJP’s Mission Repeat had turned into a decisive defeat.

As the Congress, led by former chief minister Raja Virbhadra Singh, who faces graft charges, prepared to take charge, senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar said in Delhi, “We accept the verdict. The party fought the elections together. The people did not vote for us.”

While Kumar may have accepted the verdict, sources confirm the Dhumal camp was holding him singularly responsible for its beating at the hustings. A close Dhumal aide says, “Shanta Kumarji played a spoiler. It cost us at least 11 seats alone in Kangra, the margin we lost with.” The BJP slid from 41 to a dismal 26, an evident anti-BJP vote in the hill state. The Congress meanwhile forged ahead with 36, comfortably reaching the half-way mark.

Verdict 2012 marks a return for the Congress after five years, in keeping with the extended voter oscillation between the the main parties every term that Himachal has come to be identified with for over three decades. Dhumal becomes yet another example of a CM fighting anti-incumbency and unable to keep his place in the office.

While the BJP fought these polls on the development plank and tried cornering the Congress by trying to raise the issue of the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders by the central government, finally neither the corruption charges against Virbhadra nor the induction stoves could warm up the tally for the saffron party.

The Congress stood to gain from the divide between Upper and Lower Himachal, with Virbhadra’s party defeating the BJP handsomely in the upper Himachal region. Dhumal’s son and BJP MP from Hamirpur, Anurag Thakur, conceded that “ticket distribution and rebels have been a major cause for our defeat”.

The Congress meanwhile used Himachal as its sole reason to rejoice, given the results in Gujarat. There was a sour note for the CPI(M), which after putting up a good show at the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections, and aligning itself with the newly-formed Himachal Lokhit Party, won just one seat.


By Prarthna Gahilote in Himachal Pradesh

COMMENTS PRINT
gujarat polls
The Gujarat strongman does it thrice in a row. More modest than he’d have liked, but he’ll no doubt make a play for India’s top job.
Saba Naqvi
gujarat polls
Will the Congress finally ask itself tough questions now?
opinion
The Congress is left to count its gains; Modi’s success infuses a certain piquancy into the choices the NDA has to make in the run-up to 2014
Harish Khare
rss and modi
Modi’s big bang victory has neutralised, at least for now, the Sangh’s opposition to him
Prarthna Gahilote
Interview
Once a force to reckon with in the BJP, the man who called Vajpayee a mukhota
Panini Anand
opinion
By plotting a development course, Modi created pro-incumbency
Nirmala Sitharaman
victims
Amidst all the cheer for Narendra Modi, dissenting voices—not just Muslims, but Gujaratis of all backgrounds.
Panini Anand
muslims
A climate of fear combined with Congress ineptitude drove Muslims to Modi
Pragya Singh
Interview
The director of Final Solution, a searing documentary on the 2002 genocide of Muslims in Gujarat
Namrata Joshi
women/youth
Modern, city-dwelling women of Gujarat adore Modi and seem to think he can do no wrong
Neha Bhatt
women/youth
Why Modi is a powerful magnet for young men and women
Priyadarshini Sen
opinion
Only one voice in Gujarat, said the visiting prince. How wrong he was.
Shiv Visvanathan
the middle class
Arch-deliverer of progress: Modi fits the bill. The middle class wants nothing more.
Debarshi Dasgupta
Modi & india inc
Big industry, Modi feed off each other in win-win relationship
Lola Nayar
MEDIA
Modi made it impossible for the media to ignore him
Anuradha Raman
Cover Story/ opinion
Anti-Modi crusaders run their rabid campaigns blindfolded
Madhu Purnima Kishwar

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