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People Of Shimla Chose CM Sukhu Over PM Modi, Says Himachal Industries Minister

The people of Shimla chose Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu over PM Modi by giving a massive mandate to the Congress in the civic elections, Industries Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan said on Friday.

Politics News
| Written By
Press Trust Of India

Image: ANI

The people of Shimla chose Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu over Prime Minister Narendra Modi by giving a massive mandate to the Congress in the civic elections, Industries Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan said on Friday.

Addressing reporters here, Chauhan said the BJP had turned the Shimla Municipal Corporation election into a Modi-versus-Sukhu battle.

The BJP put up hoardings of the prime minister and sought votes in his name but Shimla residents voted for good governance and the Congress' ideology, he said.

The Congress won 24 of the 34 wards in the Shimla Municipal Corporation. The BJP won nine wards and the CPI(M) one while the AAP, which had contested from 21 seats, drew a blank.

Chauhan further said that the BJP's Himachal Pradesh leadership has failed thrice in the past two years -- the 2021 bypolls, 2022 assembly polls and the 2023 civic elections in Shimla.

The minister said Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and people from all districts and assembly constituencies live in the city for jobs, business and their children's schooling, adding that the entire state voted for the Congress.

Chauhan's statement was in reference to former chief minister Jai Ram Thakur's comment that the Congress' victory in the elections was not organic as people from other places were registered to vote in Shimla.

He had also accused the Congress government in the state of influencing the elections and alleged that people living outside Shimla were made to cast votes in the civic polls.

This mandate is not purely of the people living in Shimla, he had said.

The sequence of names in Electronic Voting Machines were changed to benefit Congress candidates, Thakur had alleged.

Replying to the allegations, Chauhan said the names were displayed in Hindi in alphabetical order along with symbols of the political parties and added that the people of the state and Shimla are aware and educated to vote for their candidates.

The Congress' Shimla Urban MLA Harish Janartha accused the BJP of distributing money and liquor to influence the voters.

Chauhan's remarks evoked a sharp reaction from the BJP with the party's Himachal unit chief Rajiv Bindal saying the prime minister is the tallest leader in the country and such a statement is unwarranted.

It is a set pattern of the BJP to have photographs of its central leadership on hoardings and posters and it is ridiculous to construe it as turning the civic polls into a contest between Sukhu and Modi, he added.

Bindal also accused the Congress of indulging in malpractices -- from the bulk registration of new voters to changing the sequence of names in Electronic Voting Machines and using money and official power to win the elections.

The chief minister cast his vote in Shimla just five months after voting in Nadaun and that speaks volumes about the Congress' morality, Bindal added. 

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