SHIMLA: Buoyed over its recent win in Himachal Pradesh bypolls, the Congress party is leaving no stone unturned to ensure it wrests power from the ruling BJP in 2022 state polls.
The New Indian caught up with Congress’ state president Kuldeep Rathore, who seems determined to continue the victory march well into Assembly elections. ALSO READ & WATCH: Everyone In HP Knows Conspirators, They Are Known Faces: HP CM After Recent By-Poll Loss
Our next goal is to target all BJP strongholds, including Kutlehad in Una district where we have never won for the past 35 years. The Congress will now aim to strengthen its vote bank in those 22 constituencies where the Congress has been putting up a dismal show
Stating that he had held more than 80 meetings in different constituencies during the recent by-elections, Rathore said that he would work to strengthen the party cadres in these areas so that the party could win by a huge margin in the Vidhan Sabha elections.
Rathore said that the recent victory was indeed a morale booster for the Congress which had dealt a severe blow to the image of the Bharatiya Janata Party both at the Centre and the state.
This was particularly so in Mandi which was the home ground of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, he said.
Refuting charges of groupism after Pratibha Singh visited the Congress high command in Delhi alone, Rathore said that such charges were untrue and justified that he had not accompanied Pratibha Singh since he had been busy with election related party work in the state which was evident from the number of meetings he had held.
On the question of aspirants for the post of chief minister after the Assembly polls, Rathore emphasized that such issues would be decided by the party high command.
I do not believe in individualism but rather in the party as an organization. It was our group effort that won us the by-elections. We have had towering personalities like Virbhadra Singh who did a lot for Himachal Pradesh and we contested these elections keeping these issues in mind
He also pointed out that the Congress had won despite not having a popular face in constituencies other than Mandi.
Inflation and unemployment have always been issues in the hill state through which the Congress has targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Rathore’s tone was no different when he stated that it was only during the Congress regime under Dr Manmohan Singh that the country had become an economic power to reckon with.
“The BJP has absolutely no economic sense or agenda. Whether it was demonetization or GST, all their moves have fallen flat and the country has had to suffer economically,” Rathore said.
He also added that the BJP had accused the Congress of selling the country’s assets to stabilize the economy, while now it had actually sold off the country itself.
He also had a point to make on the heirs of the late Congress leader GS Bali.
“Bali’s son is already into politics and holds a good position in the party. He too has aspirations and the party will take care of them accordingly,” he said.