People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 01

January 06, 2008

Congress Routed In Himachal


Tikender Singh Panwar


THE elections to the 11th assembly of the state of Himachal Pradesh were held on December 19, 2007 and the results declared on December 26. The Congress party lost to the BJP with the final tally in a house of 68 going as 41 for BJP, 23 for Congress, 1 for BSP and three independents.


The CPI(M) could not win any the seven seats it had contested. Similarly the CPI drew a blank from the eight seats it had contested. An anti-Congress wave swept the state as its government followed in the footsteps of the previous BJP government as far as the economic policies were concerned. It is no big surprise that the results in the political spectrum in the state show continuous change of governments as any government is following the neo liberal agenda Himachal Pradesh has seen power alternate between these two parties in every election since 1990, when the new economic policies were adopted.

Many of the sitting MLAs lost, including ministers because of their non performance. The Congress lost all the seats in its strong base in Solan district to the BJP. Similarly the traditionally strong base of Congress got eroded in the semi tribal district of Kullu. Generally considered to be pro-Congress, tribal people also defeated Congress in all the three tribal seats of the state, which include Kinnaur, Lahaul Spiti and Bharmour.

The CPI(M) contested seven seats. In Shimla, which was won by the CPI(M) in 1993, the Party stood second and its candidate Sanjay Chauhan posed a firm challenge to the BJP candidate who won the seat. The Congress party that had won last time dropped to the third position this time. The BJP got 12,334 votes, CPI(M) polled 9855 votes, and the Congress 8330 votes. A massive campaign was launched in the Shimla town by the Party. Two mass rallies were held, which were addressed by Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury. A cross section of the people were supporting the CPI(M) nominee in Shimla. Even a section of the traders were supporting the CPI(M)
apart from the basic classes. The BJP which has a strong base amongst the trading community, was also able to click the slogan that it is their government which is being formed so they should get their votes. The state government employees by large were mobilised through this slogan.

At other places the following is the total number of votes that were polled to the CPIM candidates. ;

S.No. Candidate   Constituency     Votes


1. Ramesh Chand:      Anni-------------3323
2. Ram Krishan  :        Arki-------------1233
3. Kapoor Singh          Dshalla---------1096
4. Narayan Singh:        Banjar-----------1334
5. Jagdish Thakur        Chachiot--------1675
6. Satpal Singh:            Sulah-----------   400 


The Congress government followed right in the footsteps of the previous BJP government and carried on with blatant anti-people policies. The user charges in the hospitals continued, the attack on the PDS continued unabated, the attack on the employment further aggravated, the signing of the FRBMA further added to the vagaries of the people, more than 35,000 posts were scrapped at one go by the Congress government. The state has a big services sector to which the government contributes the most. With the onslaught of the incumbent policies, the nearly 50 per cent of the sanctioned posts are not filled. Whatever employment is being generated is being done on contractual basis.

Politically, the BSP which was able to get some seven per cent odd votes in the 67 assembly seats it contested spoiled the Congress chances of coming back to power. The former minister in the Virbhadra cabinet Vijay Singh Mankotia was the chief ministerial candidate but lost miserably at Dshalla.