As the ruling BJP and Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP), with an eye on the Assembly Election due in December this year in Himachal Pradesh, have started political campaigns, the leaders of opposition Congress seem busy in settling leadership issues.
The state unit of the BJP has become quite active to counter anti-incumbency reflected in defeat in three Assembly and Mandi parliament by-election, held a few months back.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has been trying to woo the voters by announcing sops for the state government employees and other sections. Even national BJP president JP Nadda is taking keen interest to gear up the party organization in his home state.
Nadda has already attended a state level party function and a road show at Shimla a few days back and is scheduled to attend other such functions in the coming days. The state unit of the BJP has also come into election mode.
The AAP leadership, emboldened with its landside win in the neighboring state of Punjab, has also become quite active in Himachal Pradesh. National convener of the APP Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab CM Bhgwant Mann has already held a road show in Mandi. In-charge of the state unit, Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain is looking to rope in disgruntled leaders from Congress or BJP, as the party still lacks credible and popular face in the state.
As the APP is gearing up party activities in the state, the party is coming into discussion.
However, the opposition Congress which had made significant gains in the by-elections is still looking towards the Central leadership for settling the leadership issue.
Since the party is yet to take up statewide campaign leaders are trying to consolidate their position at constituency level.
The absence of six time former CM Virbhadra Singh is also being felt as he used to take extensive touring and launch mass contact programmes throughout the state before the Assembly Election.
HP Congress Committee president Kuldeep Rathour said, “The main focus of the party at present is on the crucial Shimla Municipal Election due next month; the party leaders are busy in mass contact programmes at constituency level.”
“I would take a pad yatra in coming weeks and the entire Congress party would be geared up for the Assembly Election”, he added.