Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday made light of the Himachal Pradesh “convention” of electing a new party ever assembly poll and predicted that the BJP was set to be in government in the state over the next 25 years.
The state, which goes to the polls on Saturday, has a history of alternating between the Congress and the BJP every assembly election since 1982. Thakur said the Congress may be banking on Himachal’s “rivaj” (convention) but people have made up their mind to break from tradition this time - and bring back the Bharatiya Janata Party to accelerate development.
Addressing poll meetings in Banjar in Kullu district and Chaupal in Shimla, the CM said Congress leaders claim it is their “turn” this time. “We tell them that they used say the same thing in Uttarakhand and other states. What happened there? Did they come to power again?"
"The Congress people are making various promises to people and saying we will give this guarantee, that guarantee. It is ironic that those who cannot give a guarantee for themselves are talking of offering guarantees," he said, calling the opposition party a sinking ship.
Thakur said the people of Himachal Pradesh have seen the development under a BJP government and made up their minds to return the party to power. Referring to BJP-run Gujarat, Thakur said the party there has been in power for over two decades. “Can't we do this in Himachal," he asked.
He said Congress leaders are rattled when the BJP talks about changing the “rivaj” this time. He said the Congress has appointed four working presidents in the state, out of which two joined the BJP.
The BJP, instead, can give the “Narendra Modi’s guarantee” for the next 20 years, he claimed. He referred to Modi’s poll speech in Sundernagar in Mandi on Saturday, when the PM said the elections are not just for the coming five years. “Every single vote on November 12 will define the state's development journey for the next 25 years," the PM had said.
Thakur said Himachal Pradesh voters have been electing him to the assembly for the past 25 years, and he can declare this “with confidence” that there would be a BJP government in the state for the next 25 years. He claimed the Congress was not in a position to seek votes.
“Their situation is such that their senior leader Rahul Gandhi has been sent out on a (Bharat Jodo) yatra during election time as his own leaders don’t want him to come and campaign,” he said. He claimed Congress leaders didn’t want him around during elections as they are not sure what he would choose to say.
On the Congress promise to give Rs 1,500 per month to women aged 18 to 60 if it comes to power, Thakur charged that the party lies. He said the Congress has promised in the past a government job for one member from each family, and an unemployment allowance.”But did anyone get it,” he asked. "Are they giving Rs 1,500 to women in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh? So how will they give it here?" he said.
(With PTI Inputs)