Political History of Himachal Pradesh

The key political players in Himachal Pradesh state in north-east India are the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

There are four Lok Sabha constituencies i.e. the Lower House of the Indian Parliament in Himachal Pradesh. The Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly has 68 seats who are directly elected from single-seat constituencies.

The current situation comprises of the state of Himachal Pradesh consists of two types of hill areas. Prior independence, the first type of hills was ruled by native princes. Himachal Pradesh is best known for its pure and gracious environment, hill stations, landscapes and the temples. Himachal also has one of the highest per capita incomes among other Indian statesand Union Territories in 2014-15. According to a survey of Indian Corruption Study, Himachal Pradesh is India’s least corrupt state. In 1948 Himachal Pradesh was formed as the Chief Commissioner’s Province within the Union of India. The province had Hill districts of Simla and southern hill areas of the former Punjab region.

In 1956 the formation of Himachal Pradesh as a Union Territory happened and Himachal Pradesh act was passed by the Parliament. Thus, it is declared as the 18th state of the Indian Union. HP was always a Congress bastion with Raja Virbhadra Singh ruling the state for around 30 years. BJP had 10 years of rule.

Until 2003 the government was neck deep in corruption, and the misgovernance led to frustration of people. In 2007 the governance was shifted again to INC, where several projects were unable to get green signal for proper implementation. The shuffling of the parties was ongoing during elections in Himachal Pradesh. In 2012, BJP was annihilated again by the Congress stalwart winning 42 seats. Dhumal blamed it on faulty ticket distribution process and made Shantaji a scapegoat. Despite being in opposition, congress had too many contenders and having denied the ticket, rebels count went up to 22 out of 68.

In November 2017, another power center has emerged under JPNadda. At that time as Virbhadra was facing serious corruption charges, and also the crime graph steadily going up, Congress tried to come up with young faces to get over with anti-incumbency. The steadiness of BJP in the last few elections is also a force to reckon with. However, the government is facing heat for rising prices, GST and supposedly failed demonetization.

Currently, it all lies with the high command to take leaders into confidence and give tickets to good leaders. There has to be a smart way to dismantle the Dhumal coterie so that in case of a win, some selfless man would be able to take the CM seat. Until next elections, the position of both the political parties remains strong.

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