Modi magic to help BJP reverse trend, retain power in HP: Khanna

Will the BJP be able to break the 35-year old jinx of no party being able to rule the state for two consecutive terms in the upcoming Assembly poll in November? Anil Manocha talks to former MP and BJP Incharge for HP, Avinash Rai Khanna to know his views on the issue.

Traditionally, Himachal Pradesh has witnessed only bipolar contests.  Last time, there was a Loktantrik Morcha Himachal Pradesh, which took 4-5% of votes. Before that, Pandit Sukh Ram’s party was there, which took around 6% of the votes. When the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati tried to enter Himachal Pradesh, people totally rejected her in the elections and BSP could win only one seat and subsequently faded away from state politics.  The state had witnessed a coalition government for the first time in 1998 when the Himachal Vikas Congress launched by late Pandit Sukh Ram formed an alliance with the BJP.

Avinash Rai Khanna, former MP and BJP Incharge for Himachal Pradesh told Tehelka at the Himachal Bhawan that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to address a rally in the hill state on September 24 and it would tilt the balance in favour of the ruling party. He said the Modi factor and performance of the incumbent government would reverse the tradition in the state that had in the past never repeated the same party in the hustings. He said Himachal Pradesh will rewrite history this time.

The Vice President, Shri Mohd. Hamid Ansari being presented a book entitled ?Human Rights? by Shri Avinash Rai Khanna X MP of Rajyasabha, in New Delhi on October 07, 2015.

When asked about the impact of the entry of Aam Aadmi  Party in the fray, he said that AAP would not be able to cut much ice as it does not have presence at grass root level. He said AAP’s Delhi model has now been exposed in public domain. He agreed that ultimately the fight would be between BJP and Congress but hastened to add that the grand old party was a divided house now. He said BJP leader and former CM, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal was going to every doorstep to seek a mandate for BJP. He claimed that people would go in for BJP which would provide “double engine ki sarkar”.

Khanna who hails from Punjab and has considerable influence in the state said that people were looking towards BJP in Punjab too.  He said AAP had failed to implement even a single promise that it made to voters. The BJP which earlier contested Punjab elections as a junior partner of Shiromani Akali Dal was free to contest on all seats of state Assembly and Lok Sabha. This would be an opportunity and a challenge to fulfil the aspirations of masses. He said Punjab being a border state deserved to be run by the “double engine” to solve its lingering problems. He, however, added that as a disciplined soldier of BJP he will do any task assigned to him by the party. He claimed the party has a strong cadre base in Punjab and it would catapult the vibrant state to its pristine glory by making it a top state in the country.