Impressive victory in the Bhoranj assembly by-poll has come as a shot in the arm for the BJP which is on a high, hoping to repeat the performance in the Assembly polls, due later this year.
The impressive win of Dr Anil Dhiman, BJP candidate and political successor of former minister and six -time MLA ID Dhiman, though along expected lines, will boost the morale of the BJP cadres. The win has given a high to the BJP which is hoping to do well in the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections due next month. The visit of the BJP National President Amit Shah here on May 3 is likely to mark the formal launch of the party’s election campaign for the Assembly polls due later this year.
The failure of the Congress to wrest the seat from the BJP despite being in power is an indication of the falling graph of the party in the state. With barely eight months left for the Assembly elections, BJP’s Bhoranj victory and that too by a very comfortable margin of 8,290 votes is a reflection of the party’s declining political fortunes.
The uncertainty and factionalism within the Congress has also impacted the election results with there being a last-minute change in ticket. The Congress campaign failed to really pick up as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh could not devote much time in campaigning as he remained pre-occupied with his legal cases. The Congress campaign never really picked up and it appeared that the Congress had already gauged the mood of the electorate.
On the other hand, the BJP campaign was very systematic and organized as senior leaders and MLAs covered the areas assigned to them. In fact, former Chief Minister PK Dhumal campaigned extensively as a sizeable portion of his earlier constituency of Bamsan was included in the Bhoranj constituency during the last delimitation exercise. Corruption was the highlight of BJP’s campaign with Virbhadra and the Congress candidate being the main targets.
The Congress, which made dynastic politics as its main poll plank with Dr Dhiman being son of ID Dhiman, failed to convince the voters. The fact that the BJP won with an impressive margin despite its rebel and sitting Zila Parishad member from Bhoranj Pawan Kumar polled 4,630 votes, indicates the party’s hold on the electorate. The ruling party could also not encash the anti-incumbency factor as ID Dhiman had won six consecutive elections since 1990.