Y.S. RANA , BHORANJ (HP)—It is election time in Himachal Pradesh and there is hardly any breathing space. The teams—the BJP and the Congress—and some small stakeholders are shuttling from one place to another for their fortune, playing political games. Bhoranj (earlier Mewa) perhaps is the only assembly segment of district Hamirpur that has been held by the BJP for the past more than 22 years. I.D. Dhiman nominee of BJP once again is testing his fortune for the sixth times. Earlier, he won the seat five times in a row. At present, he is also the education minister.
After successful career as a government employee in the education department he joined the BJP in 1989 to test his fortune in politics. He is not only succeeded in politics but also created a history. He was elected to the state assembly in 1990 repeated the feat in 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2007. He defeated Suresh Kumar of the Congress in 2003 and 2007 assembly elections.
In 2003 elections, Dhiman has defeated the Congress nominee Sureksh Kumar by a margin of 2.8 per cent votes. Dhiman polled 22,778 votes against Suresh Kumar’s 21,449. While in 2007 elections Dhiman thrashed the Congress nominee Suresh Kumar by a margin of more than 10,000 votes. Dhiman got around 52 per cent votes against congress nominee 29.87 per cent.
This time the Congress has preferred new face in Ramesh Dogra. Locals say that the Congress may pay for its folly to dump Promila Devi. She is a Zila Parishad member with considerable following and she could be a formidable candidate against Dhiman.
The campaigning in the area lacks spice of election because a lamb is pitted against a lion and the callowness of the crowd removes any sense of fight between the two. But lamb tries to defy all claims of the lion to pull off a win.
The BJP nominee dominated the political scene in Bhoranj segment, credited with having brought better roads connectivity; educational institutes/infrastructures in the area, seems to be comfortable against his rival. The cross section of voter say corruption and price rise are major issues here. Dhiman is playing his personal rapport and developmental cards to the hilt to win. The congress has also some pockets having sizeable following. The problem of drinking water; irrigation facilities, unemployment and monkey menace are local issues menace that may haunt Dhiman.
Faced with a scathing attack from the BJP for having questioned the veracity of corruption, the Congress is worried about the impact of the cap on subsidized cylinder. Under the caste umbrella, new caste based party BSP also poses a challenge to the Congress. Common man is not much concerned with the allegations heralded on each other. Both have exhorted the party workers to gear up for November 4 elections in their area. They urged the workers not to spare any effort for their victory.
In the area, hordes of voters vote typically and engage in strategic voting. Admittedly, it is not wise to judge a day till the night has fallen. Not until the last vote has been counted. Still, a few ‘matches’ have been played and the trend has been established. To listen to the ground, presented by the public is to suppose that the entire electioneering has been caught up in the frenzy.
Screaming from under the Congress rubble in the segment and its bare leadership cup board, is the Congress abject dependence on an individual. Congress may find it difficult to upset the BJP applecart.