Amid infighting in Himachal BJP, Jai Ram meets Nadda in Delhi

With the Himachal BJP reeling from factionalism, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur met national party chief Jagat Prakash Nadda in New Delhi on Saturday.

Thakur had also held a closed-door meeting with state party chief Suresh Kashyap on Friday evening at Peterhoff Hotel. The leaders are said to have discussed the issues plaguing the party and the upcoming elections to panchayati raj institutions.

Kashyap also discussed in detail factionalism in the party, particularly in the Jawalamukhi segment ,where senior party legislator Ramesh Dhawala is up in arms against the party’s decision to dissolve the block unit. Kashyap had dissolved the unit after fresh infighting erupted among Dhawala supporters and the party’s organisational secretary Pawan Rana.

Dhawala has repeatedly accused Rana of interfering in the Jawalamukhi segment. Dhawala had termed the party’s action as arbitrary. He has sought intervention of national BJP chief Jagat Prakash Nadda to redress his grievances.

“After the Bihar elections, Nadda should devote two to three days to asses the situation in Himachal and Jawalamukhi, in particular,” said Dhawala, who also spoke to former chief minister Shanta Kumar.

There is growing disquiet in the party over infighting in Jawalamukhi, as it believes that it will tarnish the party’s image. The party can hardly sideline Dhawala who Dhawala was instrumental in formation of the BJP- Himachal Vikas Congress (HVP) alliance government in 1998. Dhawala, then an independent candidate, had enabled the BJP to topple the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government. Dhawala enjoys considerable support among the dominant OBCs (other backward classes).

Braced for panchayat polls

Nadda assessed the political situation along with the government and party’s preparation for the upcoming elections to civic bodies and Panchayati Raj Institutions. The elections, which are due next month, are being seen as a precursor to the 2022 assembly elections. The outcome of the elections will be reflective of the policies and programmes of the Jai Ram-led government, which will complete three years in office in December.

The Congress has also fortified its cadres and is attacking the government over misrule, poor governance and questionable fiscal management. Congress leaders during their rallies and speeches have been condemning Jai Ram’s anti-people stance. The BJP is banking on the party’s three-year rule and the achievements of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre.

The BJP has directed its workers to educate voters about the benefits of different centrally-sponsored schemes. The BJP will also attempt to derive political mileage from the newly carved out municipal corporations in Mandi, Palampur and Solan. Mandi is also the home town of the chief minister while Palampur is the home town of former chief minister Shanta Kumar.

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