SUPPORT BASE AND PERFORMANCE OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN HP(PART-3)

SUPPORT BASE AND PERFORMANCE OF POLITICAL  PARTIES IN HP(PART-3)

HIMACHAL PRADESH LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ELECTION, 1990

CHALLENGES FACED BY CONGRESS BEFORE 1990 VIDHAN SABHA ELECTIONS:

-The effort of Virbhadra Singh to broaden the support base of his party by persuing the policy which favour no region of the state had somep olitical repercussion in his home region.

-Though his leadership was large accepted by the general masses outside the Shimla region but the people of Shimla region began to doubt his role as the protector of their interest.

-The result was that strong dissent group emerged within the congress Party in Shimla.

-While constituting the new minister he dropped all three cabinet minister representing Shimla region in outgoing minister to weaken the dissent

EMERGENCE OF LEFT MOVEMENT BEFORE ELECTION:

-During the Virbhadra Singh period before 1990, one more dimension was added to the political development of the state by emerging left movement under the communist parties especially the CPI(M) which after capturing many Trade Unions, began to penetrate in the rural areas of the state.

-The government left threaten when CPI(M)in Apple belt of Shimla region decided to launch the mass movement on the issue of support

Price for the Apple and people enthusiastically responded to this call.On the morning of August 19, 1987 thousands of the farmers marching towards the state secretariat were greeted by police with Lathi’s.

 

CHALLENGED POSED BY THAKUR RAM LAL AND HIS NEW PARTY “HIMJAN MORCHA”

 

-After failing to making any inroad in the congress (1) Thakur Ram Lal launched the “Him Jan Morcha” and joined the opposition camp in the United Struggle against the congress rule.

– Later he expanded his Morcha into the “Him Jan Krantikari Morcha” which consisted Him Jan Morcha, Jan Morcha, CPI(M) and Janta Party. It posed a big challenge to congress, especially in the Shimla Region.

JAN JAGRAN PARISHAD (NGO):

-The Congress (1) in Kangra region too faced serious factionalism. 

-The infighting within the Kangra congress man took serious turn when an emerging congress (1) youth Leader and MLA Vijay Singh Mankotiya was expelled from the party for his anti-party activities. 

-He launches a nonpolitical organization the “Jan Jagran Parishad” with the objective to eradicate corruption from politics.

-When V.P Singh formed the Jan-Morcha at the National Level Mankotiya was appointed the convener of the state unit and also joined the opposition front in the state.

1989 LOK SABHA ELECTIONS:

-In 1988 The Jan Morcha of Himachal Pradesh joined the newly formed Janta Dal led by V.P.Singh

-The Lok Sabha election held in November, 1989 provided the battle field for all the political parties in the state to prove their strength.

-Ultimately there was a partial seat adjustment between Janta Dal and BJP at the National level, but no such understanding could arrive at among the leader of the Janta Dal and the BJP in Himachal Pradesh.

-The Congress (I) and the BJP contested all the Lok Sabha seats But the Janta Dal concentrated only two seats.

-This Triangular contest resulting in the wining of three Lok Sabha seat namely Kangra, Hamirpur and Mandi by BJP and Shimla seat was retained by Congress (1).

-The regionally based Voting behavior could be easily seen in the Lok Sabha election.

MARCH 1990 ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS:

-Emboldened by Its impressive performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP made a serious bid for power during the 1990 Vidhan Sabha election

To avoid division of non-congress Vote, it entered into electoral alliance with the state unit of Janta dal.

-As Part of this alliance BJP contested only 51 seats and left the remaining 17 seats for Janta Dal.

 -This strategy paid expected dividend as both the “Swing” and “Split” Factors favoured the BJP-JD alliance.

-The BJP polled 41.8% vote and won 46 of the 51 seats that it contested.

-The performance of Janta Party was equally impressive. The Party increased its Vote share to 10.8% and captured 11 of the 17 seats contested.

-The congress which had 58 seats in the dissolved house was reduced to single digit having won only nine seats.

-Having won a massive majority for itself, the BJP did not opted for a coalition government, but decided to form its own government.

– This decision of BJP significantly affected the future of JD, the emerging third force in the State.

-Thus the BJP as well congress protected the two party systems in the state by ensuring that the JD did not gain any foot hold.

-The BJP with a thumping majority in the State legislative Assembly formed government and the Shanta Kumar was sworn in as chief minister of the state for the second time.

Though the BJP secured Assembly seats from both regions, he ignore the Shimla regions while constituting his council of ministers. 

-Moreover he added fuel to the fire when he declared that the government would do away with the policy of support price for the apple and Curtail subsidies on various items paid during the congress regime.

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (FVGA) organized a massive rally in the capital town of Shimla on July 2, 1990. 

-Though mobility the people,FVGA is a non-political body the CPI(M) played a dominant role in

Soon FVGA got support of the janta Dal, the congress and CITU

THE LOK SABHA ELECTION OF 1991:

-The election saw an elimination of the Janta Dal from the race. 

-While the congress begged 46.2%, the BJP got 42.8% votes, the congress victory was in the constituencies in old area while the BJP victories in the new areas.

RETURN OF THE CONGRESS-1993-1996 ELECTIONS:

-The midterm Election forced due to dissolution of assembly and dissolution of assembly and dismissal of the BJP government in the December 1992 in the wake of the demolition of Babri Mosque.

-The Congress swept the polls with 49.4% votes and 52 seats. 

-The BJP vote decline to 36.1% and its tally of seats dropped to eight.

-One reason for this uprecendent recovery by the congress was the fact the party was ruling at the center and this tilted the balance in its favour in the state.

-But more important than this, it was due to wrong and unimaginative politics of Shanta Kumar government.

-The BJP government had annoyed two powerful lobbies during its rule,these were the horticulturist who largely belonged to the old areas and the government employee as government announced “no work no pay” when the government employee went on strike in 1992 in support of their demands.

-Some employee leader was dismissed and some other was terminated to punishment stations

 

CONGRESS PARTY ENHANCED ITS SUPPORT BASE:

-After coming power in 1993, the Congress followed a single point programme. 

-It tried to weaken the BJP strong hold in the new areas.

-Farmers in the new areas were persuaded to take to cultivation of fruit and vegetables. 

-Attempts were also made to project Dharmshala, which fall in the new areas as the winter capital of the state, several government department were asked to open their Zonal officers there. 

Two new radio stations on at Dharmshala and other at Hamirpur were commissioned

-The new government also tried to undo the Injustice mended out to g. employee by the previous BJP government.

-In old areas the grievances of the apple orchardists were suitabily removed.

1996 LOK SABHA ELECTIONS:

-The net outcome of efforts made by new government could be seen in

congress party success in Himachal Pradesh during Lok Sabha elections

-The congress party not only retains the two seats it has won in 1991 but also wrested the remaining two from the BJP.

-The congress bagged 54.03% of the vote polled, while BJP got only 39.8%

SPLIT AND SET BACK TO THE CONGRESS

1998-1999 or formation of Himachal Vilas congress by Sukh Ram or the first coalition government was formed

-The wake of impressive election, electoral outcome in Lok Sabha election, the congress government in the state began with fairly high popularity rating

-The congress Party’s chance of retaining power during the Vidhan Sabha elections, which were schedule to be in November 1998 seemed good.

-Another lactor which mentioned may be made, its presence of several feudal elements in the congress camp, Raja of Rampur Bhusher, Raja of kutlehar, Raja of Nalagarh, Rana of Jubbal, The Rani of Chamba and Aishwarya katoch from Kangra.

-In addtion Pratibha Kumari (wife of

Virbhadra Singh was congress canditate of Mandi).

The HVC supremo Sukh Ram, during his election campaign he claimed

that fight was against “Rajwada’s” (rule of Raja’s).

-The entry of Sukh Ram’s HVC into the electoral fray and the call given by him to overthrow Ragwadashi determined the outcome of the 1998 Poll.

-After the 1998 Vidhan Sabha election, both the Principal Parties were slightly short of majority out of 65 seats for which elections were held

congress had won 31, BJP 29, HVC 4 and independent one seat.

-Thus the BJP was in strategic position as it could decisively tilt the scales. Initialy,the congress roped in the lone independent and formed its government but could not win a vote of confidence, so yielded place to a

BJP-HVC coalition-the first ever coalition in the Hill State.

1999 LOK SABHA POLL:

-The BJP-HVC alliance contested the reaming three seats while the HVC contested the remaining seat in the old areas.

– The alliance paid the expected dividends and swept the polls.

-The BJP-HVC combined bagged 58.2% of the votes polled and made complete sweep by winning all the four Lok-sabha seats.

-Kargil war of 1999 was a factor for spectacular victory for BJP-HVC combine.

– The Kargil martyrs by according respect to the dead bodies and arranging their funeral with full State honour.

-The BJP-HVC alliance proved complementary in social term Dhumal Rajput and Sukh Ram a Brahmin represent the two Major castes in state Politics.

RETURN TO TWO PARTY COMPETITION: 2003 ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS OR END OF HVC:

-The BJP-HVC coalition remained intact even when the former had secured absolute majority on its own after winning two out of three tribal seats where elections were held in June 1998.

-This was in addition on its victory in a couple of bye-elections.

Howerever HVC suffered a major setback, when it split in 2002 and one out of this three legislators broke away and setup new political outfit only to accommodate within the BJP. -Therefore, the relations between the BJP and HVC went sour.

-The leadership of HVC alleged that this split was engineered by chief minister Dhumal of the BJP, who was trying to weaken its coalition Partner.

-Earlier the HVC supremo Sukh Ram, who was number two in the cabinet, was made to quit the ministery after charges were framed against him by Delhi court in the famous telecom scam.

-As Vidhan Sabha election drew closer to HVC tried to have an alliance with congress, but this was no materialize and hence it contested the election own its own.

One prominent feature which determines the electoral outcome in 2003 was intense factionalism in the BJP which had started coming to the fore several months before the elections. While one fraction was led by  Dhumal and other was identified with the union minister Shanta Kumar.

-Shanta Kumar faction fared that they would be side lined by Dhumal faction at the time of Party tickets some known supporters of Shanta Kumar faction formed Miter Milan. 

-The Dhumal faction did not try seriously to sort out the Intra-party differences.

-The denial of the Party-tickets by the BJP High command to Several Shanta Kumar supporters brought the Party to the Verge of split.

-The congress had its own share of factionalism which was quite apparent much before the elections however the Party high command was able to strike a balance accommodating both factions.

– The election campaign of the congress centered around the issue like rampant corruption and economic mismanagement.

-Mismanagement of the state’s economy which had landed a small state like Himachal into a debt of more than 1500 crore rupee.

-The HVC dedicated to go on its own, having failed to retain congress and the BJP into an electoral alliance.

HVC criticized both the major political parties and promised to generate employment and root out corruption, however, the party failed to make its presence felt and lost all the seats(48) that it contested except one. It was only Sukh Ram who abled to save his seat.

-The congress was able to get a comfortable majority 40 seats out of 65 for which elections were held.Bjp got 16 seats

SUPPORT BASE OF TWO PARTIES:

-While both congress and BJP get substantial support from all economic classes.

-The educational background of the supports of the two parties offers a

study, that the support of congress party declines as we move up the

educational ladder on the contrary for the BJP rises with the rise in the

educational level of the voters.

-SC and ST in Vidhan Sabha are almost equal to their percentage in the

population of the state.

-In Himachal Rajput and Brahmin both dominant classes equally support

both the Parties and almost equal representation in Vidhan Sabha.

-In Tribal areas congress Party base is strong.

-In 2004 (14th) Lok sabha election Congress party won 3 seats and BJP

 fraction was led minister Shanta kumar only 1.

STATE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2007:

-In 2007 Assembly elections the hill state reverted to bi-polar polity with

the realignment of third political forces during these election.

-Efforts to form the third political front for the past three decades have not been successful.

-The emergence of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had raised the vision of third political force in the state where the electoral arena has been traditionally dominated by congress and BJP.

-In seem the emergence of third force, like the Janta Dal, Himachal Vikas Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)during the assembly elections has divided the vote bank of main parties to an extent but the politics in the state has remasined bipolar.

-In 2007 assembly elections the BSP, which had raised vision of third political Front performed badly.

-The Party just managed to open its account winning the solitary Kangra seat out of the 67 seats it contested.

BJP formed government by winning 41 seats and 43.78 votes polled percentage. 

-Prem Kumar Dhumal was sworn in as chief Minister for the second Time.

Congress Party managed to win 23 seats and 38.90% of vote share.Communist Party of India CPI(M) contested for of seats couldn’t win even a single seats.

-In 2009 15th Lok Sabha elections in Himachal Bhartiya janta Party won3 seats, while Indian national Congress won only one seats from Mandi by Virbhadra Singh.