SHIMLA: For the past several decades, never has any political party been able to repeat its government in Himachal Pradesh. Be it the BJP or the Congress, both have had to make way for their rival every five years.
With the next Himachal Assembly elections due in December, the BJP and the Congress, traditionally ruling the state, may have another party to compete against. The Aam Aadmi Party, which registered an emphatic victory in the Punjab Assembly elections, results of which were declared on Thursday, is eyeing major gains in the politics in the hill state.
Having tried its luck in earlier parliamentary polls in Himachal, the AAP appears serious this time, hoping to cash in on party convener Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Delhi model of governance’, which its leadership hard sold in neighbouring Punjab too.
Within hours of its thumping victory in Punjab, AAP workers became active in Himachal Pradesh, going door-to-door in several cities, including Shimla, Palampur and Baijnath, to distribute pamphlets listing the achievements under the party’s ‘Delhi model of governance’.
The full-fledged entry could come as soon as in June this year when the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections are scheduled to be held. AAP leaders, who are celebrating in various parts of the state wasted no time and started devising a strategy on Thursday itself.
“Though AAP doesn’t have any big face to bank upon in Himachal currently, several retired employees, traders and others sections of people are our supporters. We will contest the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections in May-June. We will win,” says an ecstatic Ratnesh Gupta, who is AAP’s state in-charge.
“Our party is the third option,” he remarked.