BJP president J P Nadda claimed on Monday that the AAP will lose the security deposit in all the 68 constituencies of Himachal Pradesh in the November 12 Assembly polls, asserting that the people of the hill state will change ”riwaz, but not raaj”.
Addressing a public meeting in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Chetan Bragta from the Jubbal-Kotkhai seat, Nadda said the upcoming poll battle is about protecting the rights of the state’s people and not about individuals.
”This is the battle for your rights and Chetan will protect them very seriously. Protect Chetan till November 12 and he will protect your rights after that,” the BJP chief said.
He also lauded the role of Chetan Bragta’s father Narinder Bragta, saying as a former minister, he protected the rights of the farmers and horticulturists of the region.
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Jubbal-Kotkhai is a part of the state’s ”apple belt”.
Chetan Bragta lost the 2021 bypoll from Jubbal-Kotkhai to Rohit Thakur of the Congress. He had contested the bypoll as an independent nominee. Bragta faces Thakur again this time, with the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Srikant Chauhan also in the fray.
”They say governments alternate every five years in Himachal Pradesh, but we have to change this trend as we have done in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and other states,” Nadda said.
In Uttar Pradesh, he said the saffron party was elected to power twice in succession after a gap of 38 years.
”I went to Goa and saw the banners of the AAP. People said it was contesting in 39 of the 40 seats. It lost the deposit in 35 of those 39 seats in Goa. In Uttar Pradesh, it lost the deposit in 349 of the 350 seats it contested. In Uttarakhand, the AAP contested 69 seats and lost the deposit in 65.
”In Himachal Pradesh too, we have to ensure that the AAP loses the deposit in all the 68 constituencies,” Nadda said amid slogans of ”Ek bar BJP, bar bar BJP”.
”Give a clear message to the Congress that riwaz (tradition) badal raha hai, raaj (power) nahi,” the BJP chief asserted amid cheers from the gathering.
This is the first time that Nadda has launched an attack on the AAP from his poll rallies in the hill state.
The BJP chief enumerated several schemes launched by the saffron party’s government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said Himachal Pradesh has also benefitted from those.
”Modiji and (Chief Minister) Jairam Thakur have empowered the common people of Himachal,” he said, urging people to elect a ”double-engine” government again by helping the BJP retain power in the state.
Nadda said 28 lakh people from the state are getting the benefits of free foodgrains under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. He also listed out other central schemes that have benefitted the people of Himachal Pradesh.