Himachal heating up
While all eyes are anticipating to witness the outcome of the Gujarat Assembly polls scheduled for December 18 (the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP chief Amit Shah), the northern mountain state of Himachal Pradesh is no less relevant, politically. If the ruling Congress retains power, it would provide a needed morale boost to the party. If the BJP wins the state, it would mean the winning streak of the BJP continues unabated. The stakes thus are high for both the parties, which have been alternating in power since 1988, in the hill state. It is a direct fight, as there is no third factor like former Telecom Minister, Sukhram Sharma's Himachal Vikas Congress, in 1998 and 2003, and the Bahujan Samaj Party in 2007. In 2012, again, there was the Himachal Lokhit Party, started by former state BJP president Maheshwar Singh.