SHIMLA (HIMACHAL PRADESH): In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur opened up on reasons behind BJP’s devastating defeat in the recently held bypolls and why only the hill state hogged the limelight despite the party having lost in several other states like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Without naming anyone, Thakur hinted that some known people were trying to sabotage his campaign for the 2022 Assembly elections and conspiring to destabilize matters in Himachal Pradesh.
Q)You initiated a first-of-its-kind move to end the use of government machinery to unleash political vendetta, as soon as you took over as chief minister of the state, particularly at a time when the Dhumal and Virbhadra families were involved in fierce political tussle. In this context, how comfortable are you now with your opponents within and outside the party and are they not using government machinery or party offices to conspire against you?
CM: Who is doing what, everyone is aware. I have always been against political vendetta and conspiracy. I am a grounded person and believe in working on the ground. We are reflecting on what went wrong during the by polls and are fixing the gaps. Also, I want to say that the byelection was of a different kind. Bypolls were held where Congress leaders were in power and Congress had banked heavily on the sympathy factor. They won by a slender margin and it doesn’t call for such a huge celebration. It is not necessary that the results will always remain the same and be in favour of them always. ALSO READ: “Dulhas Seeking Ashirwad”: HP Congress Leader’s Swipe At CM Thakur, MP & Union Mantri Anurag
Q) There are rumours that there will be a change in leadership. Who do you think are these rumour-mongers who are trying to destabilize matters in Himachal Pradesh?
CM: I won’t talk much on this, I leave to your intellect and other people. But it started only after three months of the government formation that rumours started swirling through social media. Known political opponents are trying to destabilise matters in Himachal but had not been able to make an issue on the basis of corruption or scams because there were none. But there is a need to identify such people as these are known faces. I would definitely state that such propaganda will not destabilize the government and we will tackle them when the time is right. EXCLUSIVE: HP Minister Bikram Thakur Rubbishes Rumours Of Leadership Change In State In Aftermath Of Defeat
Q) Only Himachal hogged the limelight after the BJP lost the elections here. Why was that so, when the party had lost in other states like Rajasthan, Bengal, Karnataka and Maharashtra too?
I will not comment much on this. People tend to perceive things in their own way. I only want to say that in Himachal Pradesh, we made an honest attempt and were very close to victory. There has been a lapse and we have accepted it. We will take corrective measures and will confidently fight the upcoming state polls
Q) Why did your public welfare schemes not gain popularity, despite the fact that they were highly beneficial? In fact you started initiatives like the Janmanch, public helpline, tax-free entry for Himachalis at the borders despite revenue losses incurred by the state and yet they have not taken off.
CM: It happens as every other day some new issue comes up and people tend to forget the things which have been done for them by the sitting government. We need to continue taking more efforts and focus on the schemes launched by PM Narendra Modi and the party leadership at national, state level and how it has helped people and beneficiaries.
Do visit www.newindian.in for exclusive video stories from hinterlands of India.