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Himachal Pradesh election: A rumble in the Jungle

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Himachal Election: The real box office stuff and the kind of succour that Congress badly needed after a prolonged dry spell of no show.

So Amidst all the glitz and glamour of Gujarat Election and while BJP walking over it with jaw dropping numbers flamboyantly, I feel the Himachal win by congress is nothing short of box-office stuff and needs all the grabbing of eyeballs.

Himachal being the home state of BJP president JP Nadda and its heavyweight minister Anurag Thakur and given the fact that in General election 2019, BJP won the hilly state hands down with almost cornering 60% vote share, so this election was considered to be cake walk for BJP which was not be true as they lost to congress which won a complete state election and snatched a victory under BJP’s nose after almost 18 losses and 4 years to be precise when nobody gave them an outside chance.

So what worked for congress? Really it was as a silent door to door campaign without any political heavyweights, no star campaigners except Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and CG CM Bhupesh Bhagal and largely local grassroot party leaders from state. No Rahul Gandhi no Mallikarjuna Kharge or any central leadership ever visited the state to keep it simple and that brought the x factor with them like a blessing in disguise.

There was no show of pomp, and grandeur with big election rallies by state units, no use of foul language against opposition also congress kept its internal rebellion and factionalism in check without coming to media glare.

The most important of all was for congress to be very precise in fighting anti-incumbency with identifying key areas and lapses by ruling party that could hurt BJP and it did in fact.

With the promise of old pension scheme (OPS) beforehand in a state where most employment opportunities come from Govt sector, tackling unemployment with one lakh job creation, managing price rise, providing financial assistance of rs 1500 to all women from 18-60 age group, and channelizing the perceived public resentment against Agniveer scheme as Himachal send lot of guys into defense forces every year the congress party built an issue based narrative that got traction and resonated among people. 

This Himachal Election to me was like the famous battle ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ between Muhammed Ali Vs George Foreman which Muhammad Ali won in the 8th round knock out after strategically taking the body blows and exhausting the much powerfull ‘Geroge Foreman’ and wrestling a great win enroute billed as one of the greatest ever battle fought in the rings. 


Mr DP Mohapatra


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