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Rocky roads

Rocky  roads
The mountains are known for their tough terrains—literally and metaphorically—as has been thrown up this time around in the election results. Despite the BJP securing a comfortable victory, falling just two seats short of ensuring a two-thirds majority, top leaders of the saffron brass were ousted by the voters, losing to less formidable faces who stood up against them. The hills of Himachal have never allowed the same party to remain in power for two consecutive sessions. This has ensured the highest quality of governance in the state as ruling parties were forced to exhibit their best governance in a bid to secure the next elections—each time failing to match the standards of expectation of the hill population. Unsurprisingly then, the Congress lost this time around, failing to continue its governance, with the BJP coming to power. However, as a massive setback to the saffron party, its CM face, Prem Kumar Dhumal lost to Congress' Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur. This outcome was a possible result of the fact that Dhumal changed his traditional constituency in the last minute, moving out of Hamirpur. This move cost the BJP its CM face, on whose back it rode to success in the hill state. Not just Dhumal, top faces of the BJP, including Satpal Singh Satti, Ravinder Singh Ravi, Gulab Singh Thakur (father-in-law of Anurag Thakur), Indu Goswami and Randhir Sharma, all lost their respective constituencies. Despite a massive victory, the BJP was thrown in a soup regarding its chief ministerial candidate. On the other hand, despite the Congress being handed a defeat, erstwhile chief minister Virbhadra Singh and his son Vikramaditya Singh, both managed to secure their respective constituencies. The Congress defeat came about as a no-brainer, not only because of the trends in Himachal, but also because of the money laundering and disproportionate assets case tagged against chief minister Virbhadra Singh. He has also been accused of negligence in managing the Shimla gang-rape case. The BJP announcing its primary concerns surrounding women's safety, securing better roads for transportation and promises of ensuring jobs, came to power, missing a leader to cement its position. The tussle now stands between JP Nadda and Jai Ram Thakur, with the latter being considered the front-runner in assuming the seat for becoming chief minister. Leaving a bitter-sweet taste, the elections of Himachal came to an expected close with sprinkles of surprise for BJP leaders, despite the party doing well overall. Now, with power in their hands, the BJP must deliver on its promises as the people of Himachal have displayed less subservience than the rest of the country. They will not bat an eyelid before ousting the erstwhile government if their satisfaction is not adequately met. The hilly roads with their soothing winds have yet again propped some unexpected bumps.

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