Himachal BJP chief: ‘State follows a two-party system, no space for third (AAP)…There is no strong Opposition’

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Sanjay HP

Himachal Pradesh BJP president Suresh Kumar Kashyap, a former Air Force man, is a two-term MLA and at the moment represents the Shimla (SC) constituency in Parliament. On his technique to attend the latest BJP nationwide office-bearers’ assembly in Jaipur, he stopped over in New Delhi. He talked to The Indian Express about his tenure on the helm of the state unit, the AAP, and the Assembly elections scheduled for later this yr.


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On July 22, you may be finishing two years as Himachal BJP president. How has your tenure been until now?
I by no means imagined I might turn into state BJP president sooner or later. MLA ban gaye, MP bhi lagata tha ban jayenge (Became MLA and it appeared would turn into MP as effectively). But state BJP chief … that thought by no means crossed my thoughts. Anyhow, I’ve been giving my 100 per cent to regardless of the occasion is asking me to do.

When I took over, it was Covid time. There was not a lot to be executed in politics however there was loads to be executed in social service. So, we served individuals in no matter manner we may. Our employees — be it from the BJP, the Yuva Morcha, the Mahila Morcha or different morchas — did an excellent job. In all, we distributed 5 lakh packets of cooked meals, a couple of lakh ration kits, and 50 lakh masks. We satisfied individuals about vaccination and eliminated their apprehensions about unwanted effects. We additionally contributed round Rs 10 crore to the CM Covid fund and PM Cares Fund.

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As regards organisation, Himachal BJP is the primary within the nation to introduce the idea of Tridev — sales space president, sales space stage agent, and sales space guardian. The Himachal BJP can also be the primary within the nation to digitise the info of employees at 7,792 cubicles. This digitisation was verified by means of OTP (one-time password). (BJP nationwide president J P) Naddaji is impressed with the Himachal BJP mannequin and needs to duplicate it elsewhere as effectively.

We will not be caught with Panna Pramukh (electoral roll web page chief) solely, we’ve got progressed to Panna Committees comprising a Panna Pramukh and two assistants.

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How has been your expertise working with the state authorities?
Sarkar aur sangthan mein samanvay hai. Saath milkar kaam karate hain. Achchha taalmel hai (There is coordination between the occasion and the federal government. We work collectively and there’s good concord).

Many consider the Congress victory within the by-polls final yr was not due to the Congress, it was due to the BJP. Their argument is: If the Congress had been preventing match, they’d not have effected organisational modifications simply six-seven months earlier than the Assembly elections.
Yes, we had been undone by overconfidence. We received within the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, we received within the 2017 Assembly elections, we received within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and we swept the panchayat elections. All this stuff contributed to our overconfidence. Also, there was a sympathy wave for former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh who died of Covid final yr.

And infighting?
There is not any infighting. We are united.

But former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal didn’t marketing campaign within the by-elections.
It was due to a tragedy in his shut relations. He needed to cancel all of the scheduled programmes due to this. I needed to tackle one in all his scheduled rallies. Otherwise, all senior leaders, together with (former CM) Shanta Kumarji and (Union Minister) Anurag Thakurji, campaigned.

Are the subsequent Assembly elections going to be robust as you may be taking up the AAP as effectively?
Not in any respect. AAP leaders have simply come to struggle elections. After seeing the bottom scenario, they don’t know whether or not they need to struggle elections or construct the organisation first. Recently, their prime office-bearers joined us. More are more likely to come. Moreover, Himachal follows the two-party system: BJP and Congress. There is not any house for a 3rd one.

When you say two events, additionally it is a undeniable fact that neither of them has been in a position to win a second consecutive time period for a protracted, very long time.
That’s true. But this time we’re going to change that equation.

By the time we go to polls, we may have greater than eight years of (Narendra) Modi authorities on the Centre and 5 years of Jai Ram Thakur authorities within the state. Both the governments have executed rather well and persons are pleased with their efficiency.

We have already launched a mega public contact programme Chalein sales space ki or, badhein jeet ki or (let’s go in the direction of sales space, let’s move in the direction of victory). All of us are working very exhausting. Modiji is visiting the state on May 31 to mark the completion of three years of his second time period as Prime Minister. He is more likely to go to once more subsequent month for 3 days. Like (former Prime Minister Atal Bihari) Vajpayeeji, Modiji considers Himachal as his second home. He has been in control of Himachal BJP affairs. He is aware of the state and its individuals very effectively. (Union Ministers) Amit Shahji, Rajnath Singhji, Nitin Gadkariji, Anurag Thakurji and Smriti Iraniji will go to too.

Vipaksh muddaviheen hai (The Opposition doesn’t have a problem to struggle elections on). In reality, there isn’t a sturdy Opposition. There is not any resentment in public. There is not any anti-incumbency in opposition to the federal government, though it could possibly be in opposition to a number of individuals within the authorities. Just have a look at the outcomes of the latest Assembly elections. We bucked anti-incumbency in 4 states.

But the Opposition, particularly the AAP, alleges issues are going from unhealthy to worse in training, well being, and different sectors within the hill state.
They are attempting to mislead individuals. But issues are definitely going from unhealthy to worse in Delhi. The AAP authorities there’s a failure. According to data obtained underneath the RTI Act, 745 out of 1,030 authorities colleges in Delhi wouldn’t have a principal. There are 16,834 vacancies for instructor posts in authorities colleges and solely 330 authorities colleges provide the science stream. In the well being sector, earlier than (Arvind) Kejriwal turned chief minister, there have been 38 authorities hospitals. Even after seven years of his rule, there are nonetheless 38 authorities hospitals in Delhi. In 2016, there have been 10,926 beds in authorities hospitals. In 2022, the variety of beds reached 13,844. Only 2,918 beds have been added, out of which 1,800 have been organized with the assistance of the PM Cares Fund. Yeh hai Delhi mannequin.

As far as Himachal is anxious, we’re competing with Kerala in training. In healthcare, Himachal is primary. We are doing very effectively in ladies’s empowerment.

Will you be fielding Bollywood personalities, notably Kangana Ranaut, who’s from Mandi, within the elections?

We haven’t executed this experiment of fielding Bollywood actors in Himachal but. As far as Kangana is anxious, there isn’t a such speak from both facet. We will see when the correct time comes.


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