Shimla, April 29
Even as the Shimla MC elections are round the corner, AAP is still undecided on whether it wants to contest. “The party is deliberating on it and the central leadership will take the final call,” said AAP spokesperson Gaurav Sharma. Incidentally, AAP had earlier declared on various occasions that it would contest the MC elections and its local leaders had even started the ground work in several wards. An AAP official from Delhi said, “There have been a lot of changes in the state organisation over the last month. This has upset the plans a little bit and the party is now rethinking about these polls.”
Ready to fight & win
We are ready to contest and win the MC elections, whether it is held on party symbol or otherwise. It is actually the Congress that’s trying to run away from the contest. — Ravi Mehta, BJP District President
Meanwhile, the other three parties – the BJP, the Congress and the CPM – are already on the ground. With the government yet to announce whether the elections would be held on party symbol, the Congress and the CPM are challenging the government to hold the elections on party symbol. “The elections should be held on party symbol because otherwise the ruling dispensation can indulge in horse-trading,” said CPM leader and former Mayor Sanjay Chauhan. “If the BJP government shies away from conducting it on party symbol, it will be akin to conceding defeat,” he said.
The Congress, too, is building up the perception that the BJP doesn’t want to conduct the polls on party symbol. “The BJP claims it has done so much development in the city and the state. If it is so confident, then why is it running away from a contest on party symbol?” said Congress spokesperson Naresh Chauhan. “The civic body elections will show who stands where, ahead of the Assembly elections,” added Chauhan.
The talks about the BJP trying to avoid the contest on party symbol started when BJP state president Suresh Kashyap avoided a direct reply on whether the elections would be held on party symbol or not about two weeks back. The Opposition says the BJP doesn’t want any setback ahead of the Assembly polls and hence wants to avoid contesting on party symbol.
BJP district president Ravi Mehta said, “We are ready to contest and win the MC elections, whether it is held on party symbol or otherwise. It is actually the Congress that’s trying to run away from the contest.”