SHIMAL: The BJP in Himachal Pradesh was forced to project its two-time former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal as its Chief Ministerial candidate after charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said on Friday.
“The BJP had to change its strategy mid way and was forced to project Prem Kumar Dhumal, while the Congress is always confident of its Chief Ministerial candidate Virbhadra Singh, who is a mass and determined leader,” he told reporters here.
“The BJP withdrew (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi face because of fear. We are banking on development, which was unprecedented, in the state that our party ensured in the past five years of its rule,” he said.
Pilot questioned the BJP over its huge expenditure over bringing its entire central leadership in the poll-bound state.
Besides the Prime Minister and the BJP chief, the BJP has brought 13 central ministers for poll campaign.
“Their campaign will not be able to impress the voters…They know very well that the Modi government has only harassed the common man,” said Pilot, adding that people were feeling the pinch of demonetization, Goods and Services Tax and price rise.
“Whatever the Prime Minister said about demonetization and the GST turned out to be wrong. They came to power last time, exploiting the issue of price rise whereas the reality is that the prices of all daily needs are now sky rocketing,” he said.
He said the language used by Modi against the Congress leadership during campaigning “does not behove a leader of the stature of PM”.
Regarding the ongoing investigations by central agencies against Virbhadra Shingh and his family, Pilot said the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate are being used by the central government to harass political opponents.
The hill state will go to polls for 68 assembly seats on November 9. The votes will be counted on December 18 along with those in Gujarat.
In Himachal Pradesh, Congress won 36 of the 68 seats in 2012 with a vote share of 42.81 per cent, while the BJP bagged 26 seats with a 38.47 per cent vote share.