Bahra University

The political battle in Himachal is imminent as Election Commission of India can announce the elections in the state anytime soon. Political parties are on their toes and doing every little bit possible at their end to make inroads into the strongholds of their opponents. Once such area is Shimla district, wherein BJP has failed to make any inroads into so far but surely would love to exploit any such opportunity, if it comes their way. In the past, BJP made some advances when it won Shimla and Jubbal-Kotkhai segment in 2007 and Rohru in the bye-poll. However, the success was attributed more to the infighting in the Congress party.

Why winning Shimla is that important for BJP and why the party hasn’t been consistent in winning in any area in the district consistently. First, Shimla district is the home of the current CM, Sh. Virbhadra Singh and the stronghold of the Congress party for a long. Some of the key BJP leaders, but not the consistent winners mind you, include, Suresh Bhardwaj (Shimla Urban), Narinder Bragta (Jubbal & Kotkhai) and Rakesh Verma (Theog). However, the fact worth mentioning here is BJP party candidates were not consistent winner and the Congress party has always captured more seats from the area than BJP ever did.

However, what has happened is a gone case and coming next is future. The point here is how much interested BJP party is to field in the right and deserving candidates to ensure it clinches the maximum seats this time. What we seriously think will make the difference is to reach the grass root level, understand people’s problems and ensure that they are not just solved but also things are made better once and forever. And particularly, commitment to better the condition of roads, which is an age-old problem in the apple growing belt of upper Shimla, will win people’s favor.

Most of the roads in the upper Shimla area are in bad condition and dangerous for commuters owing to the unavailability of crash barriers and parapets. Owing to the geographical condition and particularly, lack of the political will has resulted in no new, alternate means of transportation like cable, gondola etc. to transport apple and other products to the places across state and nation so that farmers get a better price for their products. Making roads better and upgrading infrastructure for transporting apple easily and saving it from the inclement weather conditions will, perhaps, do the trick for the BJP. Also, the successive governments have failed to attract any industry to the area. I don’t know if BJP is successful is considering this to woo the masses this time.

Secondly, the state government has opened too many schools and colleges in the area, but that’s not enough. Lack of required number of teachers, non-teaching staff and infrastructure have left the things as is. The agony doesn’t end here as the upper Shimla area struggle with frequent, forced power cuts even when Satluj and Pabbar Rivers that flow from the district help produce a considerable chunk of electricity that Himachal Pradesh uses and sells.