From Our Correspondent
In Himachal Pradesh assembly by-election results it was a mixed luck for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. It created history for the first time since 1952 by capturing the invincible fortress of Congress, a seat which till 1977 returned Himachal’s first Congress Chief Minister, Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar consecutively till 1977.
With this victory Bharatiya Janata Party under present state president Shri Khimi Ram Sharma and Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal completed the capture of the invincible citadels of all the three Chief Ministers Congress gave to the State.
The 2007 assembly elections led to the fall of the first Congress fortress when BJP for the first time defeated the grandson of the late Thakur Ram Lal, former Chief Minister, who held unchallenged sway in Jubbal-Kotkhai constituency. Shri Ram Lal Thakur as the Janata Dal candidate had even trounced the then sitting Chief Minister Raja Virbhadra Singh from this very constituency.
By-election in Rohroo constituency necessitated by the election of Shri Virbhadra Singh, five time Chief Minister (now Union Minister) to the Lok Sabha in 2009 resulted in BJP capturing this Virbhadra fiefdom, when its candidate Shri Khushi Ram Balnatah defeated the Congress candidate for the first time ever.
The process of conquering of the citadels of Congress Chief Ministers was completed by BJP when its candidate Shri Hirday Ram, a bureaucrat who resigned his job to contest the Renuka assembly constituency by-election caused by the death of sitting Congress MLA Dr Prem Singh who represented this constituency for five terms, defeated latter’s son by a formidable margin of 3,526 votes. Himachal’s first Congress Chief Minister Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar had made this constituency proud by representing it unchallenged.
But the joy of this proud remarkable win was marred by the defeat of the BJP candidate, Smt. Gurnam Kaur in Nalagarh by the Congress candidate Shri Lakhwinder Singh Rana by a margin of 1,599 votes. Shri Rana had been contesting and losing this seat consecutively since 1993. Smt Kaur is the widow of the late Shri Harinarain Singh Saini, a former minister who represented the constituency as a BJP candidate consecutively since 1998.
Sympathy factor failed to click as the BJP candidate in Nalagarh was the widow and Congress candidate in Renuka was the son of the sitting MLA.
Both the Congress and BJP had to pay for bickerings within the organisation. Over-confidence in Nalagarh and the unfortunate public display of lack of unity within the organisation may be one of the main causes for discomfiture for the ruling party in a State, which is going to face general elections to assembly in early 2013.