With all set for Municipal Corporation (MC) election in four towns of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday (April 7) the stakes are quite high for Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and opposition Congress.
Three new MC’s i.e. Solan, Mandi and Palampur have been recently created by the state government and MC Dharamshala is having its second election.
Since elections are being held on party symbols and important elections before the Assembly election in 2022 both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress are trying their best to mold the voters in their favour.
The stakes in the MC election are quite high for Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur as the election would be a test of his political acumen and ability to win the confidence of the voters.
As the BJP government has completed three years in the state government anti -incumbency factor also seems to be at play to some extent. Escalation in prices of the essential commodities especially skyrocketing price of petrol, diesel and LPG refill is definitely pricking common people and may have some impact on the voters since elections are being held on the party symbols.
There is nothing against the state government as such and suave behavior of the Chief Minister is his big advantage for the BJP but there are also allegations of lopsided development and giving more funds to Seraj and Dharampur Assembly segments.
In Mandi MC CM’s tag and his popularity and vigorous campaign in many wards is definitely helping the BJP candidates. But open defiance of BJP MLA Anil Sharma in Mandi, who is determined to maintain five decades long hold of Sukh Ram on voters would also be a factor to watch in the Home district of the CM.
On the other hand it would be a litmus test for the state Congress leadership as this is the first election in which six times Chief Minister and tallest leader of the Congress in Himachal Virbhadra Singh is not participating in the election campaign actively. The state Congress, which is in the process of effecting a generational change in the state leadership with several leaders vying with each other to assume the state leadership after VIrbhadra Singh have a great challenge to win voters.